Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Kiss Gingerdoodle Blossoms.

 These pillowy pumpkin spice blossoms are inspired by two of my favorite and most popular (and pinned!) fall cookies: 

 Cinnamon pumpkin spice kiss blossoms... soft, chewy cinnamon cookies, rolled in sugar, with a white chocolate-pumpkin spice Hershey kiss on top. 


 Gingerdoodles... gingersnaps and snickerdoodles rolled into everyone's new favorite Christmas cookie. 

Anything with a Hershey kiss on top is my favorite thing to bake. That was the first thing I changed when I updated my About Me page! Whether it's peanut butter, chocolate-peppermint, cinnamon spice, or Oreo-stuffed white chocolate raspberry blossoms... I'll be honest: it's all about pressing a chocolate candy into a just-baked cookie and making those signature crinkles.

I love a good sparkling, sugary-crisp crinkle.

This fall, the only thing I wanted to bake (besides everything pumpkin) was a repeat of last year's cinnamon kiss cookies. They were simple, chewy, and full of fall flavor ... and even better when paired with a pumpkin spice latte for breakfast. And after snooping at what you've been pinning lately, I was inspired and determined to combine the sugar & spice swirls of gingerdoodles with the pumpkin spice Hershey kiss of those cinnamon blossoms we're all obsessed with.

There's three parts to these gingerdoodle kiss cookies.

 Gingersnap dough

 Chilled pumpkin snickerdoodle dough

 And pumpkin spice kisses!

Oh... and a quick dunk in a bowl of nutmeg-spiked cinnamon-sugar. I fall.

Rolled together, it's hard to tell we're baking with two different doughs. Don't worry... all your hard work hasn't gone to waste. Here's a sneak peek at the cookie bottoms!

Gingersnaps meets pumpkin snickerdoodles. 

First up, the gingersnap dough.

If you have ten minutes, you can easily mix together a half-batch of the soft-baked, spicy-sweet gingersnap dough used in my original gingerdoodle recipe. Rich with ginger, cinnamon, and molasses, this recipe needed no improvement (except in quantity!).

Next, the snickerdoodle dough.

Because it's October and let me live, I took things one step further by swapping out the snickerdoodle dough for pumpkin snickerdoodle dough. Pumpkin snickerdoodles have been on my fall to-bake list for the past two or three years and I'm so glad I waited for this moment to test the recipe. With the addition of some fall spices, a few tablespoons of pumpkin puree, a little vanilla, and some extra brown sugar, this cookie dough had all the cinnamon-sugar flavor of the classic snickerdoodle, with the subtle pumpkin flavor I plan on craving from now until December.

Because we're baking with pumpkin, the dough is soft and nearly impossible to roll at room temperature. Chilling the dough for at least one hour (I was too lazy to bake and chilled mine overnight) made the sticky-soft dough pliable enough to roll into balls.

As someone who likes her cookies soft-baked and pillowy, the addition of pumpkin turned these blossoms into the fat, puffy, cinnamon-sugar clouds I was hoping for. Where the original gingerdoodle cookies were thin and chewy, these baked up into perfectly soft (but un-cakey) chewy cookies. And they stay soft! Even several days later.

Last... the pumpkin spice Kisses.

The secret to keeping your chocolate from melting? 

1. Freeze your Hershey Kisses.

2. Allow cookies to cool three minutes out of the oven before pressing your Kisses on top.

3. Place the entire baking sheet into the freezer until chocolate sets.


P.S. An anticipated FAQ: I found my pumpkin Kisses at Target. Can't find them in anywhere near you? Try caramel Kisses or use the back of a spoon to make a thumbprint-shape indent and fill with a sprinkle of white chocolate chips!

Pumpkin Spice Kiss Gingerdoodle Blossoms

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Dough
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
Pinch of salt  
Pinch of nutmeg

Make snickerdoodle dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar, softened butter, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin. 

Add in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg and mix on low until thoroughly combined. Let dough chill for at least 1 hour (I chilled mine overnight). 

Gingersnap Dough
6 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
4 tablespoons molasses 
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 

Make gingersnap dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the molasses and egg and continue beating until combined. 

Add in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

For rolling & making cookie blossoms 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 package Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses

Freeze pumpkin Kisses. Unwrap pumpkin spice Kisses and place them in a small bowl in the freezer until ready to use. 

Prep. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or spray with baking spray; set aside. 

Sugar & spice. In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and pinch of nutmeg. Set aside.

Combine together. Combine a 1/2 tablespoon of gingersnap dough and a 1/2 tablespoon of snickerdoodle dough together and roll into one dough ball. Toss in cinnamon-sugar and place on prepared baking sheet. Keep snickerdoodle dough in the refrigerator when not using... dough quickly becomes too soft and sticky to handle when at room temperature! 

Bake. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until done.

Stick a kiss in it. Remove from oven and allow to cool for three minutes on baking sheet. Gently press a frozen pumpkin spice kiss into the center of each cookie. The Kisses will start to get shiny and melt after a just few minutes. At this point, just pop the whole baking sheet into the freezer until the chocolate sets.

Source: Cookie blossoms inspired and adapted from my cinnamon pumpkin spice kiss blossoms and gingerdoodles