Happy Autumn! This is my favorite season of the year. In fact, October in particular is almost better than Christmas.
One: It’s my birthday month, my mom’s birthday, my sis-in-law’s birthday, and our wedding anniversary. October should just be renamed One-Awesome-Ginormous-Ongoing-Party month.
Two: October usually brings a slight reprieve in the oppresive humidity. Mornings and evenings are much cooler and the typical afternoon thunderstorms begin to subside or altogether disappear.
Three: Pumpkin everything! Soups, candles, cookies, muffins, bread, pies. Need I say more?
Another reason why autumn is the best: Pumpkin Spice. Even better are these amazing sugar cookies jazzed up with pumpkin spice.
Sugar cookies actually bring back a wave of childhood memories. The grocery store we shopped at would give out free cookies to kids under 12 at the bakery. Now, the only hard part was actually trying to figure out how to convince my mom that we deserved that cookie. Every time we succeeded, 9 times out of 10 I would pick the giant sugar cookie that was coated with crackly bits of sugar granules. The cookie was so chewy and I would break off bits, eating them slowly to make it last as long as possible.
Those free cookies…man, they were amazing. Basically, when I was baking up these cookies the other night, I was suddenly that awkward little girl at the bakery, staring in awe at the giant sugar cookie I was about to receive.
Pumpkin Spice Brown Sugar Cookies
adapted from Joy the Baker
makes 12-14 large cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 heaping teaspoons pumpkin spice
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg (or sub 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water)
1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice. Set aside.
2. Place butter and brown sugar in a bowl. Beat on medium speed with hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat on medium speed for another minute.
3. Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the butter and sugar mixture. Beat on low speed until the dough begins to come together and the flour disappears. Stop the mixer and finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula. Once all the flour is thoroughly mixed in, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. I froze the dough for about 10 minutes because I was impatient dying to eat these.
4. Place a rack in the center and upper third of the over and preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper, if you have it. Round 3-inch balls of dough and set a few inches apart on the baking sheet.
5. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will last, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 5 days.
p.s. Ours barely lasted 3 days and that was after I stuck them in the freezer. Obviously, that didn’t stop us. They were that good.