Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Caramel-Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I don’t know how it is where you live, but around here canned pumpkin takes a really long time to hit the shelves in the fall. Last week was the first time I saw it at the grocery stores – and believe me, I’ve been checking every major supermarket in my area for the past few weeks. I was finally able to snag two large cans of pumpkin puree, and I wasted no time baking with it, since my husband has been just as anxious for pumpkin baked goods as I have been.

I knew I wanted to make some sort of cookie, and I came across a recipe for pumpkin snickerdoodles that sounded perfect. And then I remembered a recipe I’d pinned on Pinterest for caramel-filled snickerdoodles...and it just seemed to make sense to me to combine the two. Pumpkin + caramel + snickerdoodles = YES PLEASE.

These cookies are amazing. They’re nice and soft inside, with that crackly, spicy-sweet coating that snickerdoodles are known for. The gooey caramel center and subtle pumpkin flavor take them over the top to some magical place beyond delicious. I used half a caramel per cookie, but probably could have gotten away with stuffing an entire caramel in there.

If you have kids, this is a great way to involve them in your baking (not that mine ever need any encouragement). My older son was a huge help with these, putting caramels in the indentations that I made in the balls of cookie dough, and then rolling the re-formed balls in the sugar-and-spice mixture. He enjoyed helping me almost as much as he enjoyed eating the end product!

Caramel-Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
adapted from Recipe Girl and The Baker Chick

For the cookies:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated white 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
18 caramel candies, unwrapped and halved

For the rolling sugar:

1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter until fluffy. Add sugar 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 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or spray with non-stick 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. Make an indentation in the center of each ball and stuff the caramel inside, then reform the ball around the caramel.

6. 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 flat bottom to dip in sugar and slightly flatten the balls.

7. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they are slightly firm to the touch (mine took the full 14). Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes or so, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.


Abby said...

Such a fun recipe! I know C. would love to help, too. Caramel is one of my favorites. I need a couple of these to pair with my pumpkin spice latte!

Allison said...

Yes please!!! lol

I think E could help some with these. How did you cut the caramels?

I love that it's a delicious looking cookie with nuts--since we still aren't doing nuts for E, I get sad when I see yummy recipes that have nuts as a main ingredient.

I may have just found the thing I'll use my precious pumpkin on!

Taste and Tell said...

These are AWESOME!! I need to bake some up asap.

Avril said...

Yes please indeed Cassie! I'll take a couple dozen...pumpkin, carmel and cinnamon-y sugar all in one cookie makes me a happy girl ;-)

Debbie said...

These look amazing Cassie. I just had some plain snickerdoodles but they pale in comparison to these!

Natalie said...

i finally picked up some pumpkin yesterday--can't wait to start making pumpkin treats! these look so good!

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Annie Reeves said...

Hello, I just came across your website when I was looking up "snickerdoodles". I live in Australia where they are virtually unknown. Your search for pumpkin puree caused me to post. How weird that you should wait for cans of something so easily and cheaply obtained to come onto the supermarket shelves. Of course I know in the US you guys don't eat pumpkin as a vegetable as we do here (it makes fabulous soup as well). But if you can:
-buy pumpkin
-peel (sharp knife, steady hands), de-seed then chop it
-put it in a microwave dish with a little water and cook until soft
-pop it in a blender
you will have pumpkin puree!
No more waiting, no more unneccesary packaging, done!
Annie :)