These pumpkin spice snickerdoodles are soft and chewy with real pumpkin, warming spices and and extra kick from crystallized ginger! The perfect fall cookie recipe.
When fall hits, I definitely love everything pumpkin, but I’m often disappointed with pumpkin cookies. To me, they always come out too cakey and I like my cookies chewy! Not only do these cookies deliver maximum chew, they’re heavy on the spice and out of this world delicious. You are going to want to eat all the cookies.
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What do I need to make these chewy and delicious pumpkin cookies?
This recipe starts with all of your basic cookie ingredients, but I add a special ingredient to give them extra flavor and chew:
- All purpose flour – when I’m baking, I always use the spoon and level method to measure my flour. When you scoop, you risk packing it into your measuring cup and you might end up adding more flour than necessary, resulting in cakey cookies. Spoon and level is the way to go.
- Baking soda – this is the leavening agent that helps the cookies rise.
- Cream of tartar – this gives the baking soda a little more boost and adds a tinge of tangy flavor to the cookies
- Salt – ALL SWEET BAKED GOODS NEED SALT. I use Himalayan Pink Salt in everything.
- Pumpkin pie spice & ground cinnamon – you can get my super simple recipe for homemade pumpkin spice blend right here. There’s really no reason to buy it at the store when you likely have all of these ingredients already in your spice cabinet.
- Dark brown sugar – you can use any kind of brown sugar you have but I love the deep caramelly flavor and color of brown sugar in these pumpkin snickerdoodles. Brown sugar also adds a little bit of moisture.
- Granulated sugar – for sweetness. My favorite sugar of all time to use in everything is Zulka Morena Pure Cane Sugar. Honestly, you will taste the difference in everything you make and use only this from now on. Raw sugar can’t be beat and this one has great texture and flavor.
- Egg yolk – using the yolk only is the trick to getting perfectly chewy cookies. The pumpkin adds a lot of moisture to the dough so using the yolk only helps balance that out and bind it all together.
- Vanilla extract – use high quality pure vanilla extract. Nielsen Massey is my go-to. The good stuff is definitely a bit more expensive, but you’re investing time and love into making homemade baked goods. You should maximize the deliciousness potential!
- Butter – pretty standard in any cookie recipe.
- Pumpkin puree – make sure you check the can and buy pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling! I order all of my pantry staples from Thrive Market. They have organic canned pumpkin at the fraction of the price of most grocery stores.
- Crystallized ginger – this is the secret ingredient that will have everyone asking you, “what is in these cookies? They’re SO GOOD!”. Crystalized ginger is spicy, sweet, chewy magic. Make sure you chop it up super fine. This recipe will still be delicious without it, but I’m extra and I don’t recommend leaving it out.
How to make Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles
Follow the basic rules of making cookie dough. Let your butter and egg sit out until the butter is soft but not melted and the egg is room temperature.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin spice and crystallized ginger. Make sure you chop your ginger super fine. You want small, undetectable pieces mixed into your dough, not big chunks!
In the bowl of your stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add in the egg yolk, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Add in dry ingredients and stir till just combined. Careful not to overmix!
Most importantly, let your cookie dough chill for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer. Chilling cookie dough is a necessary step that a lot of people skip. Don’t do it. Chilling your dough allows the flavors to meld and come together nicely. It also prevents your cookies from spreading out when they bake. This will give you the perfect, chewy texture you’re looking for.
Soft and chewy pumpkin spice snickerdoodles are the perfect fall cookie recipe!
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp pumpkin spice
- 3 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
For rolling cookie dough balls before baking
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin spice and crystallized ginger till well combined.
- Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or use a hand mixer with a large bowl and cream together butter and sugars until well combined and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes on high.
- Add in room temperature egg yolk, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree, mixing until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl so everything is incorporated.
- Carefully add in dry ingredients with mixer on low until just combined. Careful not to overmix!
- Cover cookie dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a shallow dish, thoroughly combine 2 tbsp granulated sugar with 1 tsp pumpkin spice with a fork until well mixed.
- Form the cookie dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar and pumpkin spice mixture. Place cookie dough balls on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets, leaving about a 1 ½ inches of space between them so they don’t run together when they spread in the oven.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes until cookies are set. They will be golden and crackly on the top. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Make sure that you chill your cookie dough before baking. This is critical to getting a chewy cookie, ensuring that they do not spread too much during the baking process.
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