Things have been much busier than I would like lately.  I’ve been stretched very thin, the kids have been sharing illnesses, etc. etc.  Sometimes I feel like I’m ready to pull my hair out.  Those are the times when I head into the kitchen to bake.  Baking helps clear my head and improve my mood almost instantly.  People often ask me how I’m able to bake so much, and phrase the question as though baking is a chore.  What they may not understand is that I love it, it makes me happy and it soothes my soul.  The night I made these pumpkin snickerdoodles, that’s exactly what was going on.  Baking therapy.

When I decided on these particular cookies, I wasn’t thinking much about my choice and was more interested than the process of baking than the end result.  Luckily for all of us the result were these soft and puffy, subtly pumpkin cookies with warm fall spices.  Snickerdoodles aren’t normally in my top tier of irresistible cookies, but I found myself craving them at work and making sure I had one every night after dinner.  One batch makes a lot of cookies but instead of halving it, make the full batch and share them with friends, family, neighbors, whoever.  It’s a nice way to get in your baking therapy and officially welcome fall.

  • Yield about 3-4 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


  • 01

    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.

  • 02

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  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.  Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water, then in the sugar-spice mixture, and use the bottom to flatten the dough balls slightly.  Recoat the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture as needed.

  • 03

    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.