I hardly know where to begin. These are … epic? Is epic too strong a word for cookies? I might have thought so before I made these, but now I am thinking it just might be possible for a mere cookie to attain a sort of hero-like status.
We shall see.
A few years ago, my cousin sent me a recipe for Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, and I used a version of it on my old blog. I think the reason that he thought to send it to me, was because of our shared memory of our Grandmother, from whose kitchen issued forth a never-ending river of Snickerdoodles. I expect it was Grandpa who was very fond of them, or she might not have made them so often, and I suspect my cousin bears more fondness for that memory than my siblings and I do. We lived next door to the grandparents in question, so our exposure to the Snickerdoodle River was far more extensive than the other grandchildren. Enough so that we turned our noses up at them sometimes, much to Grandma’s dismay.
I think though, that Grandma would be pleased to see what has become of Snickerdoodles in my own kitchen. They’re now more strongly spiced, a little less cakey, with a crispy sugary exterior and then they are nestled two by two with a ribbon of brown sugar cream cheese filling. Oh – and the pumpkin of course, which lends them an undeniable fall flavor that is perfect with a cup of tea as you contemplate the sideways shadows of a chilly late afternoon.
I used canned pumpkin, only because it is what most people have access to and home cooked pumpkin can be quite a lot thinner, because it is hard to get as much moisture out as they do in commercial operations. I try to make things easier for you when I am working on recipes, though I have made these with home prepared pumpkin successfully. If you want to use pumpkin you have cooked yourself, I would, once it is all cooked and pureed, put it in a wire mesh strainer over a bowl for a good 24 hours to get as much of the excess liquid drained away as possible. [that liquid would make a nice addition to a soup stock or a batch of cinnamon bread by the way]
- 3¾ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 & ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 8 ounces room temperature butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar - dark preferably, but light will work
- 2 tablespoons dark molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 3 ounces room temperature butter
- 3 ounces room temperature cream cheese
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 cups confectionery sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons cream
- Preheat oven to 350º and prepare two large sheets by lining them with parchment paper or Silpat. The sheets can be oiled if you prefer.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk together to combine well.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or other large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugars and molasses.
- Beat in the egg and pumpkin
- Add the flour mixture in approximate thirds and beat until well combined.
- Chill the dough for about 2 hours, until very firm. You can keep it in the fridge for up to a week before baking.
- Using a medium cookie scoop [1 & ½ tablespoons], portion the cookies, and roll them into smooth balls. Work quickly, as this is a soft dough and it will get messy if it gets warmed up very much.
- Combine the topping ingredients and roll each cookie in the mixture, and place on the prepared sheets. Dip a flat bottomed drinking glass in the sugar mixture and flatten each cookie to a 2 inch diameter.
- Bake two sheets at a time, for 12 minutes, until the cookies are browned at the edges.
- Cool briefly on the pans, and then remove to a cooling rack.
- Repeat until all of the cookies are baked - you will have about 4 dozen individual cookies.
- Beat together the butter and cream cheese [make sure they are very soft or the filling will be lumpy], then add the brown sugar and beat for 1 minute.
- Beat in the confectionery sugar, 1 cup at a time, until very smooth.
- Beat in the cream [you can use milk or half and half] a bit at time until you have a spreadable consistency.
- Spread the filling on half of the cookies and top each one with another cookie, squeezing together very lightly.
- They may be stored at room temperature for 24 hours, and refrigerated after that. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
The sad thing now, is that they are all gone.I’m guessing it won’t be long until another batch finds it’s way into my kitchen – even a river, perhaps.
Go make some – and then you can judge for yourself if they deserve to be called epic!