Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles – Better Than Certain Coffees and Beers

This is a very unlikely post, considering the fact I’m not a big fan of snickerdoodles, and generally loathe adding pumpkin spice to non-pie things, such as coffee and beer. Despite that, I had a feeling the pumpkin spice would work perfectly with the buttery, cinnamon sugar cookie, and it did.

Unfortunately, a quick Google search showed I hadn’t invented it, and there were thousands of variations; from thin and chewy, featuring crisp edges, to much taller, pillowy versions. I decided to go thin, and adapted this snicker doodle recipe, from Averie Cooks.

One common denominator was the use of baking soda, plus cream of tartar, instead of baking powder. Since that’s pretty much what baking powder is, I don’t see what the big difference would be either way, but I thought I would mention in case you refuse to go out and buy cream of tartar. Either way, I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy! 

Ingredients for about 18-20 Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (6 1/2 ounces by weight)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon fine salt)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger 
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon clove
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

For the rolling sugar:
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
*plus a few extra pinches of the pumpkin spices, if so desired

For the icing:
1/4 cup powdered  sugar
stir in enough milk, lemon juice, or other liquid to achieve brushing consistency


Gigi said...

Hello Chef John - thanks for the recipe :) If I were to use baking powder, would it be 3/4 t? or 1/2t? or ?

Unknown said...

The main difference between using baking powder and a mixture of baking soda and cream of tartar is in the proportion of acid to alkali. The standard substitute for baking powder is 2 parts cream of tartar to 1 part baking soda. If you're being super fussy, that mixture is a bit stronger than bought baking powder, which also has about 1 part starch or such to keep it dry. A recipe may have some other acid in it, say buttermilk, so it may want go heavy on the soda to compensate, for example.

Turandot said...

So.... the recipe only uses pumpkin pie SPICES, no actual pumpkin puree in the batter.

lexo said...

Can you provide the recipes in gram units?

Unknown said...

I don't have any allspice.. but what i do have is a container of pumpkin spice. Could I use this instead of the ginger, clove, nutmeg, and allspice?

David McCutcheon said...

Wonderful recipe! Pumpkin spice didn't overpower the snicker doodle flavor and only enhanced it. Great idea!

JAM said...

People it's not necessary to get Chef John's blessings for changing or substituting ingredients in a recipe.

This especially applies with snickerdoodles, which can be made with many different flavors.

Learn to experiment.

Unknown said...

Accidentally used 1/2 tbsp instead of 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, but these are amazing. I'm having a hard time not eating the batter before they're baked.

Theresa "Ting" Chen said...

Just made these. They are a hit!
I mixed 2 tsp of the pumpkin spice instead of doing just the cinnamon for the sugar coating.

qwerty3729 said...

My daughter and I made these cookies this weekend and they were excellent! Great recipe, thanks so much Chef John!

Unknown said...

I've been cooking peppers and onions in the skillet on the grill a lot lately. I'll have to add jalapenos next time. Yum. I like cooking bacon that way too, although hot fat + open flame adds a nice element of danger. I used to get flank steak, but my husband got me to try the carne asada cut from our local market, and I prefer it. Not sure if it's thin-cut flank or skirt (I'll have to ask), but it looks like this 

photorikki said...

I squished mine down a bit like you did but they turned out domed-not flat-like yours!
So I tried it again but the same dome shape!
Why did yours turn out so flat?! :-)

harleydhick said...


Could you post a blog on ANZAC cookies...have you tried it? They are Australian cookies and the best cookie I have ever tasted.

Kiryn said...

For those wanting to know how much baking powder to sub, my attempts to find an answer online give a lot of conflicting information, but it seems like for this recipe, anywhere from 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp should be fine.

I'm sure it changes something about the consistency but without doing comparison batches back to back I'm not sure I'd notice. The ratio of cream of tartar to baking soda is very different throughout the recipes I've seen, so as long as it has some in there, the exact amount probably doesn't matter so much.

Unknown said...

TLDR; use 3/8 tsp. baking powder and 3/8 tsp. baking soda instead of 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar and 1/2 tsp. baking soda.

Assuming Robin Betts' comment above is correct (ignoring the part about starch),

3 tsp. BP = 2 tsp. CT + 1 tsp. BS,

where BP is baking power, CT is cream of tartar, and BS is baking soda. So

1 tsp. CT + 2 tsp. BS = 3/2 tsp. BP + 3/2 tsp. BS.

Chef John calls for 1/4 tsp. CT and 1/2 tsp. BS. According to our formula above, we should use 3/8 tsp. BP and 3/8 tsp. BS instead.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the recipe Chef John. I made a double batch last night and took them to work today. There were 6 cookies left at noon and I brought home the empty container. I heard "amazing" and "so good" compliments.