A little bit of basic never hurt anybody.
Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodle
Credit: Sara Tane

There’s a whole lot of hoopla come fall about what exactly you need to be eating. In other words, if it’s not pumpkin-spiced, maple-infused, sprinkled with cinnamon, and served in a butternut squash, then you are most definitely losing at life. The hype behind the various autumnal profiles is unlike anything in the world of food, and this fact of life still remains a mystery to me as to how this handful of flavors got placed on such a high pedestal. I’m here to caution you about that hype, because frankly, not all of these fall-inspired goodies are worth the mass hysteria surrounding them. With that said, I’m also here to personally confirm to you that these, basic-as-hell Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles are worth every ounce of autumnal excitement. If there is any treat that you’re going to try this season while simultaneously unleashing your inner fall BETCH, let it be these.

The snickerdoodle on its own inherently speaks to the fall flavor profiles. It’s bursting with deep notes of cinnamon, possesses a rich buttery flavor, and can be consumed in latte form (a requirement for any flavor that deems itself worthy of the autumnal enthusiasm). But, we went ahead and made a great thing just a little greater by adding some pumpkin puree to a basic snickerdoodle recipe. Not only does this add a smidge of moisture to the cookies, it provides a subtle hint of that gourd goodness (that sounds weird, but you know what I mean) that nobody can seem to get enough of at this time of year. The pumpkin flavor in these bad boys is refreshingly subtle but just detectable enough that you better believe it’s a damn fall treat.

But wait, it doesn’t stop there. Rather than opting for the classic cinnamon sugar mixture that ordinary snickerdoodles are rolled in, we threw in a couple extra spices—and not just any random conglomeration of spices, but the building blocks of traditional chai spices—cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and cardamom. Sure, if you don’t have all of these, they’re not going to make or break your cookies, but let’s just say, it wouldn’t hurt to take a stroll down the spice aisle to make sure you’re fully stocked.

Whether there’s a special occasion or you’re just straight up in the mood for some chilly weather treats, I strongly encourage you to get acquainted with these guys. The recipe is as simple and straightforward as a baked goods get (no fussy pastry, no chill times, no excessive decorating), but I can guarantee that if you serve this to a crowd, they will surely be impressed. So the choice is yours—either succumb to the hysteria over fall flavors while settling for less-than-par, over-hyped treats, or take my advice, and achieve the ultimate autumnal flavor nirvana with these subtle yet powerful cookies.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane