Monday, October 24, 2011

The Love Child of Pumpkin and Snickerdoodle

Once upon a time there was a beautiful cookie named Snickerdoodle. She was a great cookie. Not too sweet. But debate-ably plain to some. All men loved her simplicity and classic style. She liked to roll herself in cinnamon and spice, to make everything nice. One day a fancy little guy named Pumpkin stumbled into her life. She had never thought she would be the type of girl to go for such an "out there" flavor... (Especially with all her plain Jane morals.) Pumpkin was more the type of Miss Butterscotch or Miss Double Chocolate Chunk... (He really likes the Chunk... She's got more to love.) But on this special fall day, the leaves were turning and the air was fresh and she was feeling festive. He took her on a stroll. Mr. Pumpkin said all the right things. And was even nice to her plain friend, Mrs. Shortbread. Before she knew it she was one fat cookie, with a middle that was about to blow. A love child was born. The little goddess was called, PUMPKIN SNICKERDOODLE. She was perfect. A soft, tender, gentle little cookie with a pecan squished on her head. She took after her mother and enjoyed rolling herself in sugar and spice. But took a bit of her fathers characteristics and got a little crazy with some pretty "out there" spices like, Nutmeg, Cloves and Ginger. It made her special. They lived happily ever after in a place that was forever fall.

Pumpkin Pecan Snickerdoodles
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
Makes about 3 to 4 dozen cookies

For the cookies:

  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the coating:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • Dash of allspice

Topping (optional):

  • Approximately 48 pecan halves (one for each cookie)



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 puree. 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.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Toast the pecans in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant. 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. Place a pecan on top of each dough ball. Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water, then in the sugar-spice mixture, and use the bottom to gently 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.


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