Everyone knows what a Snickerdoodle is, right? This seemed like common knowledge to me, but apparently not everyone grew up with these cinnamon-sugar treats. Sometimes I forget that not everyone possesses the same massive database of arbitrary facts that exists in my brain. Like Eric Stoltz filming for five weeks as Marty McFly in Back to the Future — duh! How is this news? I thought that was common knowledge. But alas, I’m nerding myself (do you like that? It’s like ‘dating’ yourself only instead of inadvertently revealing your age, you’re inadvertently revealing what a nerd you are. Just remember where you heard it first…)
I wanted to make a simple, cakey, pumpkin cookie with a twist. I had originally planned to dip the cookies in melted chocolate, but I’d recently done the pumpkin-chocolate combo. That’s not to say I won’t revisit it, but I wanted to shake things up a bit. Once again, I modified a Weight Watchers recipe (don’t worry, I’m back to full-fat cooking this weekend. I just bought like eight sticks of butter) for pumpkin cookies. But pumpkin alone was not enough. I wanted something sweet with a hint of fall spice. That’s when it struck me. Snickerdoodles are plain sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon and sugar before baking. Why not apply the same sugar-cinnamon rolling theory to a pumpkin cookie? And now you’ve witnessed brilliance in action. You’re welcome, internet.
I put a big emphasis on the spices in these cookies because I really wanted the pumpkin flavor to break through. I made my own version of a souped-up pumpkin pie spice with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Measurements be damned. You can never have too much spice. I love the way the spices mix into the flour, waking it up one fleck of flavor at a time. The spices really bring these cookies to life. That and the fact that they’re rolled in sugar. That never hurts. I would roll myself in sugar if I could.
Due to the fact that I majorly modified this recipe by adding a great deal of pumpkin puree in place of much of the butter, the dough was very sticky. Never to be thwarted in the kitchen…oh wait, I am always thwarted. But I overcame this thwarting by freezing the balls of dough for a minute or two so they would hold their shape. Rolling them between my hands (clean hands, a cook’s best tool — thank you Ina) warmed them up enough to help the cinnamon-sugar mixture stick to the dough. When they came out of the oven they were warm and moist with a springy texture and lots of flavor. They didn’t last a second when I brought them in to work. Although I did have to convince a co-worker that the ‘doodle’ aspect of these cookies had nothing to do with dogs…