I know. It’s like I was abducted by aliens or under some terrible influence of pumpkin-hating hallucinogens or something. Thank goodness I found my way down the appropriate pumpkin-loving path because had I not, I would have never discovered the joy that are these cookies.
A couple weeks ago, a reader named Holly wanted to know if I had a recipe for a chewy pumpkin cookie. Pumpkin cookies are notoriously soft and cakey since pumpkin tends to have the tendency to fluff and cake-ify things once its baked inside. While cakey pumpkin cookies are good, they’re more muffin-tops than cookies and it’s kind of a let-down when you want something soft and chewy… a real deal cookie.
So with my personal challenge ahead of me, I sought to create the perfect chewy pumpkin cookie. And folks, I have a winner!!
This cookie has the texture of a chocolate chip cookie: soft and chewy, with slightly crispy edges that’s packed with buttery goodness in every bite. It has the perfect chips-to-cookie ratio and is the perfect size and plushness.. you won’t even get cookies this perfect in a bakery, I promise you that! And the pumpkin flavor, while present, isn’t overpowering — this would be a great “intro to pumpkin” cookie for a skeptic. Sweet, buttery, spicy and rich, these cookies fit the bill of perfection.
Easily enough, they’re adapted ever-so-slightly from my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. Since my Chocolate Chip Cookies are my favorite (and the best, in my oh-so humble opinion), I knew I’d be able to tweak this base recipe to make a perfect pumpkin cookie as well. Here are the main differences:
* this recipe has no egg, simply because eggs tend to fluff things up, too. The pumpkin has plenty of moisture, so it replaces the egg in this recipe.
* there’s a higher sugar to brown sugar ratio. Why? Brown sugar tends to soften and moisten cookie dough which is why I adore it in my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, but why I switch up the ratios for this particular cookie. Don’t get me wrong; these cookies are soft and chewy — but by using more granulated white sugar, it helps cut down how cakey and chewy they may be had I used all brown sugar.
* the butter is melted rather than softened. Softened butter tends to lend to a creamier (read: moister!) cookie, so melted butter helps cookies with spreading. While these don’t spread much, I was aiming in that direction since I wanted them to be flatter (read: crisper!) than puffy and cakey. It worked! However, you do still need to chill these for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to baking.
So, friends. The wait is OVER! Cakey pumpkin cookies no more. Introducing the BEST Chewy Pumpkin Chip Cookie. You’re welcome!
*adapted from my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup white granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- Pinch cloves
- Pinch ginger
- Pinch salt
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white chocolate chips (may also use cinnamon chips, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, seasonal pumpkin chips, or semi-sweet chocolate chips if desired)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer affixed with the paddle attachment, beat together the melted butter, white sugar and brown sugar until combined. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin to combine. Lastly, add in the spices, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and flour until a soft dough has formed. Stir in the chips.
- Refrigerate the cookie dough for AT LEAST 30 minutes, up to 1 day, until chilled. (I typically refrigerate mine for at least an hour). Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with silicone liners or mist the baking sheets with cooking spray.
- Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheets, about 1" apart. Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Cookies may appear slightly puffy and underdone, but do NOT overbake! Absolutely do not cook them longer than 10 minutes; the cookies will continue to cook slightly on the baking sheets as they cool.
- Remove the cookies from the oven. If cookies are puffy, slightly flatten them with the bottom of a glass. Top with a couple of remaining chips, if you'd like (to make them look pretty). Let them sit on the baking sheets for about 10-15 minutes before carefully transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
I love how easy and versatile this recipe is! Who knew pumpkin cookie dough could be a new staple cookie dough base?! Feel free to substitute other flavored chips to change up the flavor, or add in chopped nuts or dried fruit for a different texture. Cranberry + white chocolate chips would be festive for Christmas, even — or peanut butter chips and chopped honey roasted peanuts! Even chopped candy, like Butterfinger or candy corn, would make an excellent and delicious mix-in for this one-of-a-kind, perfect pumpkin cookie!