Today is Mr. Vittles' birthday.
His favorite cake is very simple (angel food cake filled with chocolate whipped cream) so I tend to feel guilty if that's the only thing I make for him.
Especially since he also wants to go out to dinner tonight!
So last night we had one of his favorite meals (steak with garlic mashed potatoes) and I decided to make these cookies.
He likes anything pumpkin (one year I made him a Pumpkin Spice cake) so I thought this recipe would be a no-brainer.
When I took the dough out of the refrigerator, I gave him a taste and he said "It's good. I have to say I was a little worried when you said they were going to be pumpkin snickerdoodles."
I guess he thought the taste would be too strong?
Luckily, it's very subtle.
Then about a third of the way through the batch, I had him try just a piece of one of the finished cookies. He tried to take a bite out of the half, but all the caramel came out with it.
I asked him what he thought, and he said "It's ok. The caramel is kind of a pain in the #*$ though."
I know someone else that's kind of a pain in the @#$.
I'm so sorry that gooey caramel deliciousness was just too much trouble for you, Mr. Vittles.
(We should all have such problems.)
But since it is his birthday, I decided I better make a batch of just plain ones. And for the record, they were also very delicious.
...even though I forgot to put cinnamon in the rolling sugar until the last batch.
Anyway, if you think the caramel is too daunting, feel free to leave it out :)
Pumpkin Caramel Snickerdoodles
- 3 C. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 C. whole wheat pastry flour (you can just use all-purpose for all the flour if you prefer)
- 1 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
- 1/8 t. allspice
- 1/8 t. nutmeg
- 1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
- 3/4 C. canned pumpkin puree
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 24 soft caramel candies (such as Kraft)
Coating for Rolling:
- 1/2 C. granulated sugar
- 1 t. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t. ground ginger
- 1/8 t. ground cloves
- 1/8 t. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 t. allspice
Make Dough: In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In large bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high until light & fluffy (2 or 3 minutes). Add pumpkin puree, and beat until well-combined. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until combined.
Scraping down sides as necessary, add half of flour mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture and beat only until no streaks remain. Do not overmix. Cover and chill dough thoroughly, for at least an hour, until consistency is easy to roll without sticking to your hands.
When dough is almost done chilling, unwrap caramels and slice each one in half. Set aside.
Make Coating: Mix sugar with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice in a small bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare baking sheet with parchment or non-stick spray.
Using a large cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon, scoop out dough into 6-8 balls (return bowl of unused dough to refrigerator.) Break each ball in half and place caramel piece on one half of dough. Top with other half and shape back into a ball (so the dough completely surrounds the caramel).
Roll each ball in spiced sugar coating and place on prepared sheet (if you're like me & want an extra-crispy coating on the outside, you can re-roll all the balls again before baking.)
Bake 11-13 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Store in airtight container up to 1 week. Makes about 36-48 cookies.
Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Recipe adapted from DLYN, and Caramel-Center inspiration from The Baker Chick