These cookies are not too sweet, but spicy and soft like old fashioned molasses cookies.
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (optional, but awesome - I use a microplane grater for this)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp hot pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (optional, I put more...but start small)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper (secret ingredient, don't leave it out)
1/4 cup sugar for coating (I like the texture of raw sugar with larger grains, but regular sugar or cinnamon sugar would be fine)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. I use a hand mixer for this. Blend in pumpkin, molasses, grated ginger, vanilla, and egg.
Whisk together dry ingredients. Mix them into wet ingredients until well combined. The dough will be a bit sticky. You can chill the dough until it is firm enough to roll into 1 inch balls or don't, if you don't have time. Sometimes I just flour up my hands and work with it.
Roll the balls in turbinado sugar until lightly coated and place them on a baking sheet an inch or two apart. Press them down gently with your palm into disks. Bake for 10 minutes, or until they get cracks on top. Don't overbake them or they will be dry. These are great with a little peanut butter and coffee.