Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a MUST try this fall! Perfectly soft & chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies without being cakey.
Introducing this week’s pumpkin recipe. It’s a doozy. I am 100% in the autumn state of mind. There is no turning back for me. Pumpkin coffee, harvest scented candles, apple pie, fuzzy socks. I can’t believe it’s already September, but I am truly loving every moment of it.
Earlier this week I compiled a little list of things I want to do this fall. I can’t wait to carve pumpkins and put them on our new patio out front. Looking forward to pumpkin brews, boots, long walks, and fuzzy scarves. This is truly the best time of year. 🙂
What are you looking forward to this fall season? Hopefully pumpkin cookies are on your list. I’m a little crazy when it comes to pumpkin cookies. I am not a fan of soft, cakey pumpkin cookies and pumpkin tends to make every single batch of cookies – cakey. It’s like eating a pumpkin muffin top or something. Which is obviously delicious, but when I want a cookie – I want a cookie, not a muffin.
Still with me? This “cakey pumpkin cookie issue” has haunted me for 2 years.
Pumpkin cookie problems, I call it. I made about 5 batches of cakey pumpkin cookies last year and experienced the same amount of cakey cookie batches this year as well. I have been secretly making pumpkin cookies the entire summer, trying desperately to find the solution to my cakey cookie problem. But guess what? I solved it. I FINALLY made a chewy, soft pumpkin chocolate chip cookie that – gasp!! – doesn’t taste like a piece of pumpkin cake.
Don’t get me wrong, these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are still extremely soft. However, they are not soft like a piece of cake.
Let’s discuss how these chewy (!!) pumpkin cookies came to life.
Pumpkin is, for lack of better words, gloppy. Doesn’t that sound appetizing? But seriously. It’s soft, it’s mushy, it’s full of moisture. It’s approximately 90% water by mass. Excessive moisture = cakey. Think about muffin batter. It’s a lot more wet than cookie dough, right? Muffins are cakey. Cookies should not be cakey. So we want the cookie dough to be much drier than muffin batter. However, we don’t want to go throwing a bunch of flour into the cookie dough to soak up all the moisture. There’s a few tricks I learned along the way.
First, I took what I know from my tried and true Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Melted butter. Melted butter makes cookies ultra chewy, so I knew right off the bat that I wanted to melt the butter, not cream it, for my pumpkin cookies. Plus, the extra liquid from the melted butter helps cookies spread in the oven. Spreading means a crispier edge. And while these cookies aren’t crispy in the slightest, I still wanted to get as close to a crispy/chewy cookie as I could. So melted butter it is.
Second, I took a second thought about eggs. What is the purpose of eggs in a cookie recipe? They bind things together, they tenderize the baked cookie, and leave behind moisture. I cut out the eggs completely. After some experimenting, I learned that pumpkin can replace the eggs.
I try not to add too many chocolate chips to the dough. Blasphemy, I know. I want the pumpkin flavors to shine through and chocolate has a way of overpowering things. 1/2 cup of chocolate chips was the right amount.
The cookie dough will be a bit sticky. I chilled the dough for only about 30 minutes and suggest you do the same. The cookies spread slightly in the oven, so when you roll the cookie dough into balls, slightly flatten them out.
The most important part of the cookies’ journey to chewiness is to let them sit. Let them cool on the cookie sheet or on a wire rack for awhile. I found that the cookies get chewier over time. I baked a batch yesterday and notice that they are much chewier and softer on day two, even when left uncovered overnight. The pumpkin flavor is also much stronger on day two as well – similar to how banana bread’s flavor is glorified over the course of a day or two.
Because of this, these cookies are a GREAT make ahead recipe.
Seriously!! You have to try these cookies this pumpkin season. Chewy, chewy, chewy and oh-so-soft. These are my favorite pumpkin cookie and I am so happy (and quite relieved to tell ya the truth) to finally find the perfect recipe.
Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Perfectly soft & chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies without being cakey.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 Tablespoons (86 grams) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 and 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour (spoon & level)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves1
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice1
- 1/2 cup (90 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft. Fold in 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed in the dough. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Roll the dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each. Slightly flatten the dough balls because the cookies will only slightly spread in the oven. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. Remove from the oven and press a few more chocolate chips onto the tops, if desired. If you find that your cookies didn't spread much at all, flatten them out when you take them out of the oven.
- Allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack. The longer the cookies cool, the chewier they will be. I let them sit out for at least 1 hour before enjoying. I find that their chewiness and pumpkin flavor is more prominent on day 2.
Make ahead tip: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.2 Allow to come to room temperature and continue with step 3. Baked cookies freeze well up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.
- Use 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, if desired. Don't leave out the cinnamon. I like to add a lot of spices to increase the cookies' spice/pumpkin flavor. Go by your spice preference.
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Q: What is on your fall check list? Anything you have planned? Anywhere you want to go? Anything you want to bake?