A good friend of mine is severely allergic to nuts. Like EpiPen stat, rush to the hospital kind of allergic. It’s a constant paranoia whenever I’m baking and sharing to make everyone aware if a dessert contains nuts. I warn everybody before they take a bite ‘- “WAIT – Those cookies have nuts, are you allergic?” The tough thing is, I absolutely love nuts, of all kinds. Hazelnut, cashew nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachio nuts (I couldn’t help myself), and often include them in a lot of my baked goods. So when my friend told me that she has a hard time finding pumpkin flavored desserts, one of her favorite ingredients, without nuts, I had to immediately fix this problem.
There were so many recipes I could choose from, pumpkin is everywhere these days. And I finally chose a recipe that I knew would hit it out of the park – pumpkin whoopie pies. Seriously, like these would be to die for. But the problem my friends, is I got lazy! I realized I didn’t have any cream cheese to make the filling, and I just couldn’t be bothered to go to the store. Baking should be enjoyable, never a hassle, and to me, going to the store, especially in New York City, is an absolute hassle.
I know, I’m totally lazy. So I had these wonderful sandwiches for a cookie with no filling. What was I to do? Well the answer is obvious, coat them in cinnamon and sugar and forget about the unnecessary filling. These cookies don’t need them! They’re flavorful and light, and have just the right amount of spice to make them totally satisfying. Pumpkin whoopie pies I may tackle you someday, but only when I have a fridge stocked with pumpkin puree and cream cheese. Which may be tomorrow, who knows :)
Pumpkin Spice CookiesMakes about 3 dozen cookies Note: I originally intended these cookies to be the sandwich for a dreamy pumpkin whoopie pie, but the cookies turned out super flavorful on their own so I thought filling them with cream cheese icing might be a bit overkill. If you feel like cream cheese icing only makes things better, (I would assume that’s a vast majority of us), then feel free to leave the cinnamon sugar off these babies and sandwich them with your favorite cream cheese icing recipe. Mine happens to include mascarpone.
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in the pumpkin and molasses until incorporated. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until fully incorporated.
Drop the dough on the prepared cookie sheets by rounded teaspoon (or tablespoon if you like larger cookies). Generously sprinkle the cookies with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for 12-15 minutes until cookies are slightly golden brown.