Snickerdoodles – Lightened Up and Pumpkin-ized

A couple of weeks ago when my pumpkin-chocolate caramel bark didn’t quite turn out as expected, I got the crazy idea in my head that it would be perfect baked into a cookie.  A snickerdoodle at that!  After poking around the web, I couldn’t believe how much flour/sugar/butter was in the typical snickerdoodle recipe.  It seemed so unnecessary.  So I adapted the below, adding pumpkin, because you know, it’s November and that’s what we’re supposed to do for the next few weeks until we move on to peppermint.
Oh.My.Gawddddd these are good.  Like maybe the best thing I’ve ever made good.  I couldn’t stop eating them straight out of the oven (or the dough out of the freezer, it’s eggless!), but they were so good and chewy when they cooled as well.
I tried two different gluten free flours, with similar but slightly different results.  Cup4Cup made bigger, softer more pillowy cookies, Better Batter resulted in smaller, denser cookies.  Both had great flavor.  

Bubbling sugar and honey

Stir in pumpkin – the smell is intoxicating!!
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine
Roll caramel into balls and stuff inside cookie dough

Roll cookie dough in sugar/pumpkin pie spice mix

These cookies will not spread, so give them a gentle smush with a fork before popping in the oven.
Cup4Cup results – a bit messy but tastes great!

Better Batter, smaller and denser but still yummy!

Gluten Free Pumpkin
Snickerdoodles (With Pumpkin Caramel)
*Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
3/4 cup gluten free flour (I tried c4c and better batter,
both good)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (just under level)
1/4 tsp cream of tarter (optional) – I didn’t use
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar or sucanat or evaporated cane juice – I used
¼ cup organic white sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 tablespoons milk of choice – I used unsweetened
almond milk
1/4 cup “butter” of choice, such as Earth Balance (I
haven’t tried a lower-fat butter sub in this recipe, so I don’t know if that
would work.) – I used regular butter
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients and mix well.  In a separate bowl, melt the butter of choice, then stir in
vanilla and milk.  Pour dry into wet and mix again.  If batter is too runny add flour in small increments until dough comes together, it will be wet/sticky.  Form balls. Stuff balls with a
piece of caramel.  Roll each ball in a mix of cinnamon and sugar.  I rolled in sugar+pumpkin pie spice for added pumpkin flavor.  If you want soft cookies, you’ll need to get
the balls very cold. (So roll the balls, cover in the sugar, then
fridge until cold.) Cook for 9-10 minutes.  Caramel will melt out but just spoon back on top of cookie as it cools.  Another option is to make the caramel runny (see note below) and swirl in ribbons of caramel into the dough before making balls, if you try this let me know how it turns out!
Pumpkin Caramel:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 stick butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
In a heavy bottomed pot, bring the sugar and
honey to a boil.
Add the butter and stir until it’s melted.
Add the heavy cream and boil until a candy
thermometer reads 290 degrees.
Take the caramel off the heat and stir until
smooth and no longer bubbling. Add the pumpkin and spice and stir to combine.
Pour the caramel onto a silpat mat or parchment
lined cookie tray.
Let the caramel set until cool and hard.
*For runny caramel sauce, cook below 290
degrees, 290 is supposed to cause caramel to “crack” but both times when I’ve
done it, it gets to a chewy texture which is fine for stuffing in cookies.

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