Tuesday, October 15, 2013

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

When I think of treats that I want at Christmas, they are things that remind me of home.  Home is what makes Christmas so special in my mind, probably because it is the one time of year that I tend to make it home more than any other.  The things that make desserts seem like home are pumpkin, cinnamon, and spices like allspice.  I think that is why pumpkin pie, apple pie, etc make it to the top of everyone's favorite dessert lists.

I decided to make a dessert for 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Brenda at Meal Planning Magic, that doesn't scream Christmas, but reminds you of home. 

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
from Recipe Girl
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup pure unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Rolling Sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice

1) In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter until fluffy. Add sugars and pumpkin puree and beat well. Mix in egg and vanilla, scraping down sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Beat flour mixture into liquid mixture a little at a time just until incorporated.
3) Cover dough with plastic and chill at least an hour, or until dough becomes slightly firm.
4) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick spray). Mix rolling sugar ingredients in a small bowl.
5) Remove cookie dough from refrigerator. Use a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 Tablespoons) or a large spoon to scoop out dough and roll into balls. Use your hands to roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar and make sure they're coated really well. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use a glass with a nice, flat bottom dipped in sugar and flatten the balls.
6) Bake at 350°F. for 15 minutes, or until they are slightly firm to the touch. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes or so, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

The only comment that I have about this recipe is that the original cooking time (10 to 14 minutes), listed on the Recipe Girl website didn't work for my cookies.  My oven was still heated from dinner by the time I put the cookies in and they were still underdone in the center.  I think fifteen minutes should be the low end of baking time for these cookies.

I did love these cookies.  Pair them with a glass of milk and you have a perfect dessert, in my opinion.  I love finding delicious pumpkin recipes to try outside of pumpkin pie.  This one hits the spot. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Secret Recipe Club: Granola Cookies

My husband deploys for six months starting tomorrow.   We've known he was going to deploy for awhile, but we just found out the day that he was leaving less than a week ago.  Needless to say...things have been stressful at our house.  I was thankful for the Secret Recipe Club this month because it gave me some respite from the stress and allowed me some time just to think about baking for awhile.

Secret Recipe Club

This month's assignment was Love and Flour, written by LeAndra.  I actually found my recipe by going and looking at things pinned from Love and Flour on Pinterest.  It helped me focus my eyes onto this great Granola Cookie recipe.  Please go check out all the delicious desserts on Love and Flour, and also check out her Oktoberfest series.  All the recipes look delicious.

Granola Cookies
from Love and Flour
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1¼ cups light brown sugar, packed
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups granola
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup dried cranberries or cherries
1) Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
2) Beat in the eggs and the vanilla until the mixture is well incorporated and smooth.
3) Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
4) Now beat in the flour mixture until incorporated.
5) Stir in the granola, chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
6) Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
7) Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes until golden brown along the edges and puffed in the centers.
8) Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

I have this amazing cherry vanilla granola that I buy in stores and it worked perfectly for these cookies.  I love cookies with little surprises in them and between the crunchiness of the granola, the sweetnes of the chocolate, and the tanginess of the cranberries, these cookes are the perfect balance of everything good in a cookie. 
Please browse through all the other recipes made this month.  I plan to cook a lot while my husband is gone to pass the time, so please check back if you have a chance.