It seems like I never make cookies anymore. I made them all the time when I started blogging, but they’re a little bit of a rarity these days. As it stands, I haven’t posted a cookie recipe since August 22nd!
Maybe it’s because I’ve developed more skills in the last three years or that I simply made so many cookies in this site’s early days that I’ve felt sort of “cookied out” lately.
Whatever the reason, making these Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles has been a welcome change of pace. I’ve been preoccupied by complicated things lately—think work, politics, babka, travel, planning every blog post between now and 2019—so it’s been nice to spend time in the kitchen doing one of the things that made me fall in love with baking in the first place.Making cookies, y’all. It’s the most delicious self-care I know.Also delicious? These Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles. They’re an autumnal twist on a classic recipe: soft, puffy pumpkin cookies with a sugary, pumpkin-spiced outer crust. They are simple and straightforward—if you follow the directions as written, you will be rewarded with four dozen cookies.Now, before you go clicking away because you don’t want to have 48 cookies in your house, know that:
- You absolutely do want these cookies in your house. Permitting you like pumpkin, of course.
- They’re small.
Each cookie is made from a tablespoon of dough, making each one roughly half the size of most drop cookies in my archives. I made them this way because:
- Small food just tastes better.
- I’d rather eat two small cookies than one medium cookie. Personal preference.
(Um, sorry for all the bullet points today. Not sure where they came from/why I needed to use two separate sets, but I’m going with it.)
I understand that not everyone may feel the same way I do; if you’re not into small cookies, you can scoop the dough in two-tablespoon increments and bake the batches for 11-12 minutes. You’ll end up with about two dozen medium cookies.That’s what I love about cookies like this—the most complicated part is deciding how big or small you’d like for them to be. I don’t know about you, but that’s the sort of “problem” I could stand to have more often.
Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles
makes about four dozen small cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cream of tartar*
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugars, followed by pumpkin and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in three installments, mixing until completely combined. Dough may look crumbly, but should hold together well when pinched with clean fingers.
Cover dough with plastic wrap, and chill for two hours, or up to three days.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Make the coating. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
Scoop the dough by the tablespoon, and roll into balls. Roll each dough ball in the coating mixture. Place dough balls at least two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 9-10 minutes, until puffy and no longer raw-looking. Let cool on pans for 5-7 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat scooping, rolling, and baking with any remaining dough.
Cookies keep well covered at room temperature for up to a week. The pumpkin flavor will be stronger on the second day.
There are no substitutions for cream of tartar. It is required for this recipe.