These pillowy pumpkin snickerdoodles are infused with delicious fall flavors and the crunch of chopped pecans. They’re a quick and easy classic holiday cookie!
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Table of Contents
- About Pecan Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Do you have to chill the dough?
- Do you have to use cream of tartar?
- Pumpkin puree vs pumpkin pie filling
- Can you still use pumpkin pie filling?
- How long are snickerdoodles good for?
- Can you freeze snickerdoodles?
- Notes & tips for snickerdoodles
- More delicious cookie recipes
- Other great recipes with pumpkin
- How to make pumpkin pecan snickerdoodles
- Recipe Details
About Pecan Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Snickerdoodle cookies are a staple around the holidays, and these pumpkin snickerdoodles do it one better by adding all the comforting flavors of fall. From the creamy pumpkin and crunchy pecans, these pillowy cookies would be a perfect fit for any Thanksgiving or Christmas spread.
Do you have to chill the dough?
This particular recipe calls for chilling the cookie dough for at least four hours or ideally up to eight hours.
I know it can be frustrating to put your baking on hold, but when it comes to cookies, chilling the dough is totally worth the impact it has on your baking.
The short explanation for chilling has to do with the butter. The firmer the butter is at the time of baking, the slower it will melt, which makes cookies less likely to spread while baking. So, as a general rule of thumb, chilling the dough will lead to more dense, fluffy cookies while not chilling will lead to flatter, chewier cookies. This is not always the case, though. Whether you need to chill depends largely on the amount of butter used AND the composition of the other ingredients.
If you’d like a more indepth explanation of chilling dough (with examples!) then check out this article: To Chill or not to Chill.
Do you have to use cream of tartar?
This recipe calls for cream of tartar, which works as a leveling agent to create soft, pillowy cookies. If you’ve never baked with cream of tartar before, I highly recommend trying it – the results are delicious.
However, if you don’t have any cream of tartar on hand (or don’t want to buy it for just one recipe) you can substitute every 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar for 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar. For this specific recipe, that would mean substituting the 1 teaspoon cream of tartar for 2 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar.
Pumpkin puree vs pumpkin pie filling
When it comes to holiday treats, you’re going to be faced with two types of canned pumpkin in the baking aisle:
Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling.
And while these types might seem interchangeable, there is a slight (yet significant) difference.
With pumpkin puree, the only contents are cooked and mashed pumpkin (or a variety of winter gourds), with no added flavors or spices. Pumpkin pie filling is made with cooked and mashed pumpkin, too, but it also has flavor added, typically with pumpkin pie spice.
The key difference here is convenience. If you don’t have (or don’t want to buy) pumpkin pie spice, using pumpkin pie filling can save you some time and effort; you simply add it to the recipe and skip measuring the spices. However, it does limit your ability to control the taste, and if you’re using the pumpkin pie filling with other flavors, there’s no way to guarantee how they’ll interact.
This is why you’ll see many homemade recipes use pumpkin puree (which, again, is just the gourds, no added flavor) and season and spice the recipe by hand as needed. It is a tad more work but it also gives you more control over the flavor of your fall treats.\
Can you still use pumpkin pie filling?
If pumpkin pie filling is what you have to work with, then yes, you can use it in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the cinnamon from the dough (you can keep it for the cinnamon sugar coating) so that the flavor balance is correct.
How long are snickerdoodles good for?
Once baked and cooled, pumpkin snickerdoodles can be stored in a sealed container on the counter for up to three to four days.
Can you freeze snickerdoodles?
If you’d like to always have a batch of these cookies on hand, the easiest way is to freeze them for later. There are two ways you can do this.
To freeze the raw dough:
- Mix all ingredients, then scoop out about one tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball (the same way you would before baking).
- Place cookie dough balls on a tray and freeze for at least two hours or until outside is no longer tacky. Once firm, transfer to a freezer bag or a storage container with a sealable lid.
- Cookie dough can be stored for up to six months. When ready to bake, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bake like normal.
To freeze the baked cookies:
- Bake cookies and allow to cool completely.
- Store cookies in a single layer in a freezer bag or storage container. If you need to stack the cookies, separate each layer with a sheet of wax paper.
- Baked cookies and be stored for up to one to two months.
Notes & tips for snickerdoodles
- If you’re doing a lot of baking, I highly recommend having some silicone baking mats on hand. Baking cookies takes enough time without having to cut or measure parchment paper. Or if you prefer using parchment paper, you can try using pre-cut parchment paper sheets instead.
- Plus, some quality baking sheets are a must for a cookie baking extravaganza!
- For this recipe, I highly recommend using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. This recipe would be difficult to mix by hand.
- If you don’t like pecans, you can omit them entirely; nothing else in the recipe needs to change.
- If you’d like to add more flavor, feel free to add up to 1/2 up of white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, or caramel chips.
- Enhance the pumpkin flavor by substituting the ground cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice.
More delicious cookie recipes
Other great recipes with pumpkin
How to make pumpkin pecan snickerdoodles
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 3 – Mix the dry ingredients until a thick batter forms.
Step 4 – Turn off the mixer and toss in the chopped pecans. Use a spatula to gently fold them into the batter.
Step 5 – Cover the dough and chill it for at least four hours (or ideally up to eight hours.)
Step 6 – When ready to bake, mix together the remaining granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then set nearby.
Step 7 – Use a cookie scoop to scoop up one or two tablespoons of dough. Roll the dough between your hands to form a ball, then drop the cookie dough ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture, tossing it to coat. Place the coated cookie dough ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this step until all the dough has been used, spacing the cookies one inch apart.
Step 8 – Bake!
Step 9 – Serve and enjoy!
Pecan Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- Drop mixer speed to low and quickly scoop in dry ingredients, adding about 1/3 to 1/2 cup at a time. Stop mixing as soon as dry ingredients appear fully incorporated in the dough. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape sides of bowl, mixing in any wayward dry ingredients.
- Turn off mixer. Add chopped pecans to bowl, then use a spatula to gently fold them into the batter.
- Remove dough from bowl and firmly wrap dough in plastic wrap. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or ideally up to 8 hours.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining granulated sugar (roughly 1/4 cup) and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, then set aside.
- Scoop up 1-2 tablespoons of cookie dough with a cookie scoop and roll it into a ball. Drop ball in cinnamon sugar and toss to coat. Place coated cookie ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step until all the cookie dough batter is used, spacing cookies 1 inch apart.
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
- Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.