Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Now, before Husband and I got married, I wasn't the hugest fan of snickerdoodles. I mean, they were alright and I'd eat them if they were in front of me (…really this happens with anything in the dessert category…well, except for Austrian sachertorte but that's another story…) but in my opinion they weren't really anything to write home about. Now those peanut butter cookies with Hershey's kisses pushed in the middle of them while they're still warm? Those to me are what snickerdoodles are to Husband - perfection in the form of a cookie. After Husband and I had been married for a while, I made him some regular snickerdoodles out of the blue. 

And he loved them. 
And for some reason, I never made them again. 

Until now. 

I saw these on Pinterest and knew they would be the first of (hopefully) many fall baked goods for me to prepare. Last year I overdosed a little on pumpkin by making this granola several times and got pretty sick of it. After this past summer of hot and humid weather, I'm welcoming autumn with open arms, which includes embracing pumpkin in my cuisine once again. 

I had frozen some pumpkin puree several months ago and was pleasantly surprised to find that when it thawed, it was still good. I gathered the rest of the ingredients as well as my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer and I was ready to go.

Isn't this cover cute? My mom got this as a birthday present for me during the first year Husband I were married. It's come in handy more than I ever thought, keeping dust at bay and holding accessories in the side pocket.

Cream the butter and sugar.
Add the pumpkin...yum...
Gather the dry ingredients…
…and whisk together.
Add the dry to the wet and mix it all up!
Cover with plastic wrap…
…and refrigerate for at least an hour to let it firm up.
In the meantime, gather the separate ingredients for the sugar coating and mix in a small bowl.
Prepare a large space and organize a semi-assembly line.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll into 1.5-inch balls, rolling in the sugar mixture and then spreading evenly apart on the baking sheets.
This next part is sort of weird. The directions said to take a flat-bottomed glass, dip into water…
….then the sugar mix…
…and press lightly down on top of the dough balls. 
This gives the balls a slightly flattened top with a disk-like appearance. I'm not sure if it helps the baking process or something, but it certainly made the end product a success in the end, so I'm not questioning it. 
I baked them for about 14 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then I let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 3-5 minutes...
…and then transferred them to wire racks.
Of course I had to cut into one right away for a taste test…and it. was. delicious.
I pretty much had to tear myself away from the racks of chewy goodness to let them cool and prepared the next batch to be baked. The recipe is supposed to yield about 3-4 dozen depending on how you make them, and they definitely were closer to 4 dozen than 3 dozen. Luckily I was heading over to Husband's med school, so I bagged them all up and brought them to the school to have him share with fellow students. 
Needless to say, by the end of the weekend they were all gone! I think I will indulge my urges to bake now that I have a ready and willing audience of consumers :)

So here's the recipe all condensed:

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

For the cookies: 
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups flour *I used 2 cups all-purpose and 1 3/4 cups white 
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the coating: 
1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Dash of allspice

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree, then beat in the egg and vanilla.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until fully incorporated. Cover and chill the dough for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liner. Mix the coating ingredients in a small bowl. Scoop equal dough balls and roll into the sugar mixture. Set on cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Dip the bottom of a flat drinking glass into water, then into the sugar mixture and use to slightly flatten the dough balls. Recoat the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture as needed.
Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until baked through. Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

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