Monday, September 30, 2013

Pumpkin Season is Here!

The temperatures are a bit cooler, the days a bit shorter, and the trees a bit crunchier. That snap in the air can only mean one thing... 


I know some people out there are very anti-pumpkin and think the pumpkin-flavored trend is overrated and overdone.

Let me tell you up front that I am not one of those people.

This weekend, Andy and I headed to Trader Joe's for my annual pumpkin-flavored stock up. The results were epic.

For those of you keeping score at home, that is TWO jars of pumpkin butter and TWO containers of pumpkin yogurt. 

I purchased so much pumpkin-themed stuff in one swoop that even the guy at the register commented that I wasn't messing around with the pumpkin. I got the last can of chai, which I wasn't able to get at all last year, but I was merciful and left one jar of pumpkin butter on the shelf for some other like-minded individual. This stock up is on top of the things I've already amassed so far this season (pumpkin flax granola from Costco, Dunkin' Donuts pumpkin spiced coffee, etc.). I may have a slight addiction, but now, I am set for the rest of the year. 

I also learned that this is a thing and is conveniently located next to the pumpkin butter. Apple butter is another fall favorite of mine, and I'm excited to try this version.

Om nom nom.

In honor of the beginning of pumpkin spice season, I experimented with this twist on a traditional snickerdoodle, one of my favorite cookies of all time, which substitutes pumpkin pie spice for the mix of cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg that I use normally. I thought that the recipe as written was a little dry, so I added some more liquid to make the dough easier to handle and a bit more moist. They were a big hit at home and at a housewarming party that I attended this weekend. Happy fall!

Pumpkin Spiced Snickerdoodles

Adapted from Skinnytaste
Makes 24-30 cookies

1 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat, but either is fine)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk (or water)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin spice

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray generously with cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar and butter; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add the honey, vanilla, egg, and milk; beat well.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, beating until just combined.  Cover and chill for at least 10 minutes. (The chilling step is very important and will make your cookies and your life better, so don't skip it!)

The dough after chilling. 

In a medium bowl, combine 3 tbsp sugar with pumpkin pie spice, stirring with a whisk to combine. With moist hands (also very important!), shape dough into balls about 1 inch in size. Roll balls in sugar/pumpkin pie spice mixture until covered. You will probably have some of the sugar/pumpkin pie spice left over after this step. 

Place balls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets.

Slightly flatten each ball by pressing down gently with a fork.

Bake 375°F for 6-8 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft but the edges should have started to set).  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes.  Remove from pans to cool completely on wire racks.

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