Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Prep Time: 25 minutes. Chill time: 1 hour. Cook time: 15 minutes. Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.

Yields: 2 dozen large cookies


Ingredients:


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



Directions:


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.



Enjoy!