Nine tips for making the winning Sweet Fall Treats recipe

The winning recipe from the Tre Sorelle Sweet Fall Treats competition was the Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookie recipe. The recipe looked so delicious that I had to try it myself. After baking them, and finding out they taste as delicious as they look, I jotted down a few tips for baking them and now I'm sharing them with you.
Morgan Addington-Hodge
Nov 13, 2012

The winning recipe of our Tre Sorelle Sweet Fall Treats Competition, which took place in October, was the Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookie recipe. While the person who entered the winning recipe received the wonderful prize of a gift basket from Tre Sorelle, we at Funcoast thought that the recipe itself deserved a prize too. So to honor the winning recipe I baked the cookies myself and I’m reporting back with a few tips for making this delicious treat.

Description
The pumpkin in these cookies keeps the gingersnaps extra soft and moist. The texture of these cookies is slightly crisp on the edges with a soft and chewy center. The molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and pumpkin all come together to create the perfect fall cookie, and makes the house smell so good!

The Recipe
Yield: 3 dozen cookies Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Ingredients:
½ cup of butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies
½ cup of pure pumpkin (Libby’s canned pumpkin)
¼ cup molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and smooth. Add the pumpkin, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract, mix until well combined.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 1 hour. The dough can be chilled for 2-3 days.

3. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350o F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sugar in a small bowl. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked and set at the edges; the cookies will still be soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Baking Notes
1. Being that I don’t own a stand mixer, I simply used an electric hand mixer in place the stand mixer’s place, and everything still turned out I great. I don’t even think it took much longer than if I had used a stand mixer.

2. When I creamed the butter and sugar I cut the stick of butter up into smaller pads to make things easier. I also found an epicurious video on YouTube that was extremely helpful, you can check it out right here:

3. I also found using an extremely large bowl helped, as it stopped me from splattering butter and sugar everywhere.

4. I knew I was going to love this recipe as soon as I began mixing the dry and wet ingredients together, it smelled amazing.

5. Though the recipe says nothing about this, I wrapped the dough in wax paper and then a Ziploc bag before putting in the fridge to chill. This is simply because it’s what my mom always does when she makes sugar cookies.

6. The dough is pretty sticky and will end up coating your fingers by the time you’re done rolling all the dough into balls. If possible, either roll all the dough before beginning the baking process or have a helper who can handle taking the cookie out of the oven and placing them on the cooling rack.

7. Being that I am terrible at making uniformly sized dough balls, I ended up with a few over cooked cookies. Any that turn out a little crunchy taste amazing dipped in coffee, hot tea, or the like.

8. If you are finding that your cookies are turning out tough, but you don’t think you’re over cooking them, make sure you’re not overworking the dough. Never roll the dough in your hands like you would playdough, shape them into ball like shapes and roll them gently in the sugar. Try to handle the dough as little as possible.

9. I know that licking your fingers is a baking taboo, and I don’t care. When you’re all done rolling, if you want to lick this delicious dough off your fingers, make sure you coat your dough covered fingers in sugar first. It tastes amazing.

If you have any tips you think might also be helpful be sure to share them in the comments section!