#71 Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I'm doing a happy dance, metaphorically and literally, because I just successfully baked one of my favorite recipes! I'm a huge lover of pumpkin, and since yesterday was the first day of fall, I celebrated by making these: Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. What a name.

Believe it or not, these are health-ified cookies compared to similar recipes. These are made with (white) whole wheat flour, reduced sugar, reduced fat cream cheese and no granulated sugar. Most recipes are made with all-purpose flour and more sugar, but pure maple syrup replaces a portion of the sugar in these, which not only makes them a smidge healthier, but also helps bring out the fall flavors.

The prepping does require a bit of effort because you have to flatten the dough onto your hand, fill it with cream cheese, and form a ball. It doesn't sound that difficult, I know, but the dough can get a little sticky if you work with it too long. Even so, the process is not that terrible by any means. And if you still think it sounds like too much work, let me tell you - it is TOTALLY WORTH IT. I promise.

These cookies are cake-y, soft, fluffy, flavorful and super moist from the cheesecake filling. Yes, all those adjectives were necessary to accurately describe them. They are perfectly coated in a brown sugar mixture, and they have just the right amount of pumpkin flavor. My personal favorite part is the cream cheese filling, though. It really stands out in these cookies. That being said, my boyfriend doesn't like cream cheese, and he still liked them. I told him I'd make these sometime without the filling so he could really enjoy them. So, that's always an option, too, if you know someone who isn't a fan of cream cheese (why are we friends with people like that again? Just kidding.). 

Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles are the perfect way to start off your fall season. They'll make your house smell like cinnamon-pumpkin goodness, and you also get to eat the cinnamon-pumpkin goodness, so it's a win-win all around. These are definitely a new favorite, and I SO hope you make these because they will not disappoint! 

Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles (Whole Wheat)
Prep Time: 25 minutes. Chill time: 1 hour. Cook time: 15 minutes. Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Yields: 2 dozen large cookies


1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup pure pumpkin (such as Libby's)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For filling:
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For topping/rolling:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


1. In a medium bowl, mix coconut oil, pumpkin, brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla until thoroughly combined and smooth. Slowly add flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Carefully mix until well combined, but do not overmix. Cover and chill for 1 hour or up to 3 days.

2. While dough is chilling, make cheesecake filling. In a small bowl with an electric mixer, blend cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients, breaking up all the brown sugar clumps. Set aside.

4. Lightly dust hands in flour (you may have to repeat this after every couple of cookies). Take a heaping tablespoon of dough and flatten it like a pancake in your hand. Repeat with another heaping tablespoon of dough. Take one flattened piece and place a teaspoon of the cream cheese filling in the center. Take the other flattened piece and place it on top. Pinch the edges together and roll into a ball. Roll in the topping ingredients and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all dough and filling, placing the balls 2 inches apart.

*5. Bake for 12-16 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned and tops begin to crack. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to let cool completely. Serve warm or room temperature (I prefer room temperature).

6. Cover and store leftovers at room temperature. They are best if eaten within a couple days.

*Refrigerate remaining dough and filling while the first batch is baking to prevent the dough from becoming warm and sticky.

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