Last year I received a wonderful Christmas gift: a cookie jar! Surprisingly enough, although I’ve been an adamant cookie-baker since I was about five, I’d never actually owned a cookie jar to fill with my creations. Tupper-ware containers and saran wrap-covered plates did the job, but there’s something so thrilling about reaching your hand into a cookie jar and pulling out a homemade cookie. I love my new(ish) cookie jar. It’s off-white, with a speckly blue lid and a painting of a rooster on the front. It sounds weirder than it looks, I promise.
The rest of my family also loves our cookie jar, especially my dad and brother. When I first got it I made even more cookies than usual, and they trained themselves to reach into the cookie jar hoping for a treat every time they wandered through the kitchen. Then a little problem occurred. One day as I was unpacking a large amount of groceries, I ran out of room in the fridge. Luckily the only produce I had left was a bag of potatoes, which can easily be stored at room temperature. However, the counter was also pretty jam-packed with food…(when I grocery shop, I grocery shop hard!) Hah. So my pretty little potatoes (which were actually, like most potatoes, not so pretty) had no place to live. Until I spied the empty cookie jar sitting suggestively in the corner…aha! Out came the cookie jar, in went the potatoes, on went the lid, and I thought nothing of it.
Here comes the sad part. My dad, strolling into the kitchen after dinner for a little snack, saw the cookie jar sitting proud and center in the middle of the counter and happily reached in…only to feel the rough, tough, dry, dirty skin of a potato. Big letdown. Biiiig letdown. Huge. Unfortunately, I was too excited about my new potato-storing idea to give it up, and periodically my dad or brother will eagerly peer into the cookie jar hoping for something delicious and be met with the sight of a lowly potato. What can I say? Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me! (Or them, in this case 😉 )
The good news is that right now, the cookie jar is not empty. It is not filled with potatoes. It is filled with soft, chewy, sweet, spicy, delicious pumpkin gingersnaps! I found this recipe last fall and fell in love with it. These cookies have everything to love about gingersnaps (warm spices, molasses, sugar-coating) but with a twist of pumpkin. These Pumpkin Gingersnaps would be a great addition to your fall/winter baking list! And they’re much, much better than a potato.
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
Additional sugar for rolling
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, pumpkin puree, molasses, and vanilla. Mix well. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing until combined.
Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.
Pour a few tablespoons of granulated sugar into a shallow bowl. Scoop dough by tablespoonfuls, roll in the sugar, and place 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are crackly and set, but cookies are still soft. Let cookies cool on the sheets for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Enjoy!
(Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)