Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Yeah, I realize it’s December and pumpkin time is slowly winding down, but I’m still into it! Ever since I saw this recipe on Annie’s blog, and a few others, I knew I eventually would get around to trying it. Snickerdoodles were one of my favorite cookies when I was younger, mostly because it was a rare occasion that my mom made them.  And, pumpkin could only make it that much better! I had a playgroup potluck today which was the perfect excuse to whip these up.

Personally, I was slightly disappointed when I pulled the cookies out of the oven- they looked plain and boring. But, once I tasted them, oh, did my opinion change! If you like soft and somewhat doughy cookies, these are a sure winner. The pumpkin adds a subtle and pleasant flavor, but it also helps keep away any possible cookie dryness (which seems to happen easily with snickerdoodles). These should definitely be added to your holiday baking list- it’s never too late for pumpkin :)

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, makes about 3-4 dozen cookies

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

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

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Whisk to blend and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the pumpkin.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  Combine the sugar and spices for the coating in a bowl and mix to blend.  Scoop the dough (about 2½ tablespoons) and roll into a ball.  Coat the dough ball in the sugar-spice mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough to fill the sheets, spacing the dough balls 2-3 inches apart.  Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water, then in the sugar-spice mixture, and use the bottom to flatten the dough balls slightly.  Recoat the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture as needed.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just set and baked through.  Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Store in an airtight container.