Seeing Pillsbury Pumpkin Sugar Cookies in grocery stores for the first time every year is the warmest feeling I know. As a kid, my sisters and I would eat most of the cookie dough before we could actually get them in the oven. I still get that same excited feeling when I see them on the shelves.
The only problem about the Pillsbury Cookies is that they are only sold certain times of year. With this copycat recipe, you can make them all year round and customize them to whatever shape you want in the center so get creative! This copycat recipe will give you that same nostalgia with each bite. They’re soft, slightly buttery and crisp on the bottom and overall, melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Making the Sugar Cookie Dough
The cookie itself is extremely simple and straight forward. If you love the cookie dough, in the future, you can just prepare the dough normally and bake them without shapes in the center and just enjoy them as any regular sugar cookies.
I used an electric hand help mixer to combine my ingredients, but you can use a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment OR just mix by hand (you’ll get a nice little arm workout in). I recommend using an electric mixer of any kind just to help ensure that the dough is combining nicely without your arm getting too tired from mixing by hand.
Coloring The Sugar Cookie Dough
This step of course, is the first most important step to recreating these Pillsbury Pumpkin Sugar Cookies. Once the cookie dough has been made, about 3/4 cups of the dough will be dyed orange. And 1 tablespoon will be dyed green. This will create the pumpkin and the stem/leaf.
If you have gloves, USE THEM. Otherwise I recommend mixing the dye into the colors using a silicone spatula. Food dye will stain your hands and that’s just no fun.
Assembling Copycat Pillsbury Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
It’s super important to pay attention to the size that you’re rolling all of your dough out too. The orange log of dough should be 1″ in diameter. If this log is too large, the cookies will be too big. The same goes for the uncolored dough wrapped around your pumpkin log. If the dough on the outside is too thick the cookie will be large off the bat and most likely spread a bit more in the oven. They’ll still have the cute pumpkin design but they won’t resemble the thickness and softness of the classic Pillsbury Cookie.
Another important step is making sure the uncolored dough is tightly wrapped around our log of pumpkin dough. Squeeze the entire log together super tight. If the dough hasn’t been tightly wrapped, there will be gaps between the pumpkin and the uncolored dough. You can always individually press them to be closer together but it’s easier to just get this done in the beginning to avoid any headaches.
What To Do With Extra Cookie Dough Scraps
These cookies have every quality you could ever want in a classic sugar cookie. They are perfectly sweet, chewy, super soft, and slightly crisp on the bottom. Bake off all your scraps by rolling them into 2 tablespoon sized balls of dough, place them onto your cookie sheet about 1 1/2″ apart, then bake for the same amount of time as your Copycat Pillsbury Cookies – just until perfectly golden on the bottom.
If you really want to get creative, make ice cream cookie sandwiches by baking off the scraps as described above, then placing a scoop of ice cream between two cookies. Roll the sides in festive Halloween sprinkles and VOILA! Deliciously soft and sweet sugar cookie ice cream sandwiches.
Do I Use Liquid Or Gel Food Dye?
I will always recommend Americolor Gel Food Dye. Click here for the link. Gel food dye is less likely to alter the consistency of the dough. Adding too much liquid food dye will make the dough sticky, tacky, and hard to work with.
A few drops of each color will do the trick. But of course you can always alter the amount based on the color you want to achieve. It’s best to start with a little then add more if needed.
How To Slice Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
To get the clean even slices that we want, it’s important to make sure that the dough is very cold. Cold dough will slice very clean and the dough will hold its shape perfectly. If the dough becomes soft when working with it, wrap it up in plastic wrap or parchment paper and let it sit in the freezer for 10 minutes before slicing. I promise, being patient and making sure the dough is cold will yield the best end result.
Be sure to use a sharp knife. Do not use a serrated knife, just a knife with a sharp blade will do perfectly! Slice each cookie slowly and take your time to ensure that each cookie is roughly the same thickness. Having each cookie the same thickness will also ensure that they bake evenly.
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