Well, I had to do something will all those pumpkins I collected over the fall, so it seemed impossible not to include a pumpkin cookie. I decided to retool a recipe from last year—turning my Old Fashioned Persimmon Snickerdoodles into Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles. Pumpkins are, on average, easier to come by than true native persimmons, so if the persimmon recipe was too far up the tree to reach last year, maybe this will lower the branch a bit for you. In essence, I simply switched out the persimmon pulp for the pumpkin puree, made adjustments to the flour and divided up the four teaspoons of cinnamon in the original recipe to create pumpkin pie spices. You may even use quality canned pumpkin for this recipe, if you must. Easy Peasy.

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 4.5 dozen

Serving Size: 1-2 cookies

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles


  • Two and one-half cups sifted flour (What worked best for me in the end was equally divided amounts of all-purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour, sifted together with the other dry ingredients.)
  • Two teaspoons cream of tartar
  • One teaspoon baking soda
  • One-quarter teaspoon fine sea salt
  • One cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • One cup sifted powdered sugar
  • One-half cup fine white evaporated cane juice
  • One large egg
  • One-half cup pure pumpkin puree
  • One and one-half teaspoons cinnamon
  • One teaspoon ginger
  • One-half teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • One-half teaspoon allspice
  • One-quarter teaspoon clove
  • One-quarter cup light brown sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and clove with the brown sugar in a shallow, wide bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flours, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until well combined, light and fluffy.
  5. Add the egg and combine; then, add the pumpkin puree and combine.
  6. Gradually add the flour mixture with your mixer on lower speed until well combined.
  7. Divide the dough in half, place in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour and up to eight hours. The dough is fairly tacky and sticky because the pumpkin contains a lot of moisture. Chilling it well is essential.
  8. Working with one half of the chilled dough at a time, use your hands to shape the dough into one-inch balls and roll in the mixture of the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spices. Place each ball about an inch and a half apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Slightly flatten the balls.
  9. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until lightly browned and puffed. Cool one to two minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to cooling racks. Cool completely before storing in airtight containers in a cool, dry location.


Note that the prep time does not include the time it takes to chill your dough, only the time it takes to prepare it. The bake time estimates the maximum time it will take to bake all four and a half dozen. To ensure that your dough is not too wet, be sure to drain your pumpkin very well, even if you are using canned pumpkin. You can place the pumpkin puree in a cheesecloth-lined colander over a bowl in the frig overnight to accomplish this.

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Alas, unlike my Raspberry & Pecan Thumbprint Cookies, the Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles are not gluten-free. However, your gluten-free diners can satisfy their pumpkin cravings this Christmas with my Pistachio Encrusted Pumpkin Wedges and the Creamy Pumpkin Bars with Orange-Oat Crust from the great folks at Delicious Living Magazine. Both are destined for my holiday table. Maybe your,s too?

And I must give a big shout of gratitude to CSA friend Liz, whose kind thoughts and culinary wisdom helped me perfect this snickerdoodle. Thanks, Liz! You nailed the adjustments that gave my cookie a much better texture—all in the leavening and flour choices. You can’t underestimate the value of good friends who just happen to be great cooks.

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