Because Pumpkin Season Has only just!
By: Cecelia Wilken
Autumn is my favorite season. All year long I eagerly await fluffy sweaters, warm leather boots, and that first spiced pumpkin latte. I am not ashamed to be “that girl”, the one who gets way too excited about that first orange leaf spotted in the trees and will dress like its 60° out while it’s still well over 80° outside. I don’t care. I love it.
Autumn brings pumpkin-flavored everything, and one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes is a cinnamon chip pumpkin cookie. Think snickerdoodle… but with pumpkin. Sounds like a match made in Autumn-heaven to me. Even my husband, who swears off all sugar, cannot resist these cookies. They are fluffy, delicious and just the right amount of cinnamon to pumpkin ratio. Pure. Bliss.
If you’ve baked with pumpkin in the past, you’ve probably noticed that pumpkin can be finicky to work with. Adding pumpkin to a recipe is a sure-fire way to add moisture to a baked good. It does such a great job at retaining moisture that sometimes if you aren’t careful, you end up with a cookie that is TOO moist and more “cakey” than a cookie.
How is that possible? That is because pumpkin is gloppy (appetizing right?) and can result in a wet batter. But in order to make good cookies, you need a batter that holds its shape well. Cookie dough is called “dough” for a reason. My first few attempts at this recipe ended in a sticky, slimy mess, and resulted in cookies that practically melted after a few days and came out of the oven feeling more like tiny cakes than chewy delicious cookies.
That might not seem like an issue to some people, but when I want a cookie. I want a COOKIE. A kind of crunchy, but a still chewy and soft cookie. One that can withstand the crucial milk-dunk test without dissolving and falling apart. Being the perfectionist that I am, I worked hard to develop a pumpkin cookie recipe that was worthy of the heralded “cookie” title and met my very high and borderline- impossible expectations.
To achieve a good cookie dough consistency when using pumpkin, you must account for the extra moisture. In order to fix this issue, I replaced the eggs in a normal cookie recipe with pumpkin. Pumpkin essentially acts the same as eggs in baking; both ingredients act as a binder and tenderizer and add moisture. By replacing eggs, you can achieve a lot of the same results.
Now the best part about this recipe is that the base of the recipe is gloriously adaptable. You can add chocolate chips, butterscotch, cinnamon chip, candied walnuts, or even opt-out of extras all together!
- ½ cup butter softened
- ¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ginger*
- ¼ teaspoon allspice*
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg*
- ¼ teaspoon cloves*
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon*
- ¾ cup of cinnamon chips or other add-ins*
*Can be adjusted for personal preference. You could also use pumpkin pie spice in place of all the individual spices. Other add-ins include white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, coconut shavings, candied walnuts, pecans, cinnamon chips, butterscotch chips, etc.
- Using a stand mixer, hand mixer or whisk, cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl. Add vanilla and pumpkin and mix thoroughly.
- Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices into the wet mixture, mix until just combined. Gently fold in chips or additional add-ins.
- Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. This step is not necessary but will make your cookies chewy and delicious. Chilling the dough will help with the binding process. You can refrigerate the cookie dough for up to 3 days.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll 1-2 inch balls of dough, cover in a cinnamon, sugar mixture before placing on the sheet. The cookies will only spread slightly in the oven, so if you want flatter cookies, press down lightly on the tops before cooking.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will come out of the oven soft, let them sit and cool completely on the counter before moving them. For best results I let them sit for at least an hour.
- Cookies will keep at room temperature for a week (if they last that long). You can make a dough and freeze for up to 3 months.
And there you have it! Delicious, chewy pumpkin snickerdoodles are worthy of the title “cookie”.
Check out these other pumkpin flavored recipes: