Introduction: Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies

Living in the Bay Area, we don't have a lot of leaves that change colors, we don't get snow, and the weather hardly changes. So how do we know it's fall? When Starbucks starts selling pumpkin spice lattes, of course!

I know some people like to make fun of the pumpkin spice craze that seems to overtake the nation every fall, but I unapologetically love it! I've always loved pumpkin everything, when I was a kid I always had pumpkin pie instead of cake every year for my birthday, and I never stopped.

I wanted to get a start on holiday cookie baking and I was inspired after seeing a picture of swirled sugar cookies to make a pumpkin spice latte cookie. Read on for the recipe and technique for making these fantastic cookies!

Step 1: Ingredients

To make these cookies, I made two batches of sugar cookie dough, with some minor variations, based on this recipe.

Plain sugar cookie dough:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Contrary to popular belief, there is not actually any pumpkin in pumpkin SPICE lattes, they are just made with the spices one would use in a pumpkin pie. To make the pumpkin spice latte cookie dough, I used a bunch of different spices as well as an instant latte mix to add that coffee flavor. The spice amounts are really up to you, depending on how spicy you like your cookies, but I've included general measurements to give you a starting point.

Pumpkin Spice Latte cookie dough:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup instant latte mix (this isn't the exact brand I used, but this is similar)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • orange food coloring

Optional:

  • Sprinkles!

Step 2: Mix Your Ingredients

For the regular sugar cookie dough, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. In another bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, and add the eggs and vanilla once it is smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until it is all incorporated together.

For the PSL cookie dough, add the spices to the bowl with the flour and other dry ingredients and mix the instant latte mix with the sugar and butter. Combine the dry ingredients slowly and add the orange food coloring until you get the color you want. Keep in mind that the cookies will darken slightly when cooked, but not by much!

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour. You can also freeze it at this point, and it keeps really well.

Also, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 3: Roll It Out!

Once your dough is chilled, flour your rolling surface and rolling pin (if you don't have a rolling pin, a wine bottle works just as well!) and roll out both doughs until they are roughly the same size and shape and about a quarter inch thick.

Don't worry if the dough tears or cracks, your finished cookies will still look pretty cool. As you can see from the pictures, I had to kind of fudge it in a few places where my dough broke, but I promise your cookies will still look awesome. If your cookie dough slabs aren't sticking together, you can brush or sprinkle a little water to get them to stick together so you don't get bubbles and holes in your finished cookies. This recipe is pretty forgiving!

I found it easier to layer the doughs if you wrap one of them around your rolling pin and unrolling it on top of the other dough to minimize tearing.

Step 4: Roll It Up!

Once you have your two doughs layered on top of each other, slowly roll it into a log shape, making sure the spiral is tight and the dough is still sticking together. Feel free to sprinkle some water while you're rolling to keep your spiral tight. It's ok if the outside doesn't look super neat, it's what's inside that counts!

Once your dough is all rolled up, I cut it in half to make it a little more manageable. Roll your dough log out until it's approximately 2 inches in diameter. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it for at least an hour.

Step 5: Sugar Coat It!

This step is optional, but I feel like it really adds a nice look and texture to your finished cookies. I took a bunch of sugar sprinkles and coated the entire outside of the dough log with a layer of colorful sugar sprinkles in a mixture of red, yellow, orange, and black.

Use the plastic wrap to help the sugar stick to the dough by patting the sprinkles through the plastic to make sure they are really stuck securely. Wrap the plastic wrap tightly around the log of dough and chill it another hour or so.

Step 6: Slice It!

Take your chilled log of dough out and slice it into quarter inch pieces and place them around an inch apart on a cookie sheet. This is when you finally get to really see the magic happen! I use a non-stick baking sheet, or some parchment paper to make cleanup easier, but it's not necessary.

Step 7: Bake and Enjoy!

Bake for 8 minutes at 350 and try to wait for them cool a little bit before they all get devoured! I had a hard time getting a good picture taken before they all disappeared!

Comments

author
mlawing (author)2016-12-06

These look excellent!

author

Thanks! They taste great too!

author
midiansangel (author)2016-12-05

Awesome!

I'm on a pumpkin spice quest! This is on my list!!! Here in the UK, we don't "do" anything pumpkin-y, but since coming home from the beginning of Autumn / Fall in the US, I'm hooked! Big time

Thank you for sharing

author

It's pretty easy to recreate the pumpkin spice mixture and add it to pretty much everything. It's life-changing!

author

Thanks for the tip. I shall use it ... Lots :-)

author
THEFIRSTBDC (author)2016-12-05

These just look beautiful and your instructions are so clear...I think maybe I can even swing it! Thanks for sharing...

author

Thanks! I hope you give it a try!

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Bio: I'm just a lady who likes making stuff. I got my degree in engineering but also enjoy cooking, sewing, knitting, gardening and backpacking, among ... More »
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