IT IS TIME.
Welcome to the official Fall 2017 baking season. The air is cool, school is in session, football started, the leaves are slowly turning…. but fall doesn’t *truly* begin until we crack open that first can of pumpkin. And maybe you’ve already done that this month? Pumpkin crumb muffins anyone?
Well, in any case, this is the first pumpkin recipe I’m sharing on my blog this year. And I always like to kick things off with cookies because, well, COOKIES!!!
We’ve done snickerdoodles and cinnamon chip, brown butter and pumpkin whoopie pies (in my book!), but right now… let’s get back to the basics. Pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in all their soft, chewy, deliciously comforting, pumpkin spicy glory. (Pumpkin spicy. Can that be a new term? How do you feel today? I’m feeling pumpkin spicy so I’m gonna bake some pumpkin oatmeal cookies.)
One term I’d seriously like to call out though is this: chewy.
Here are 3 tricks to guarantee dense and chewy pumpkin oatmeal cookies.
The Egg Discovery
We’ve explored chewy pumpkin cookies at length before. Back in 2013, I discovered that pumpkin can replace eggs in cookies. This was a game-changer for me. When both are used in cookie recipes, the resulting cookie is more cakey and less dense/chewy. I prefer a dense and chewy pumpkin cookie, so I went to town on this concept. From there I created my favorite chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. (You can watch me make them here!)
Things were a different story when I threw oats into the cookie dough. Testing pumpkin oatmeal cookies proved that an egg– or at least part of an egg– is necessary. Why? Without an egg, they are a little dry and crumbly because of all the oats. So, in my pumpkin oatmeal cookies, I add an egg yolk. That little extra fat is perfection. And the cookies remain remarkably soft and chewy.
For chewy cookies, melted butter wins.
Blotting Pumpkin Seems Weird
Here’s another chewy pumpkin cookie secret. Blot your pumpkin. Sounds weird. And it is weird. You see, pumpkin puree is extremely wet. And extra moisture in cookie dough results in cakey cookies that spread too much. Take the 15 seconds to blot it and your pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies will dramatically improve. Simply measure your pumpkin puree, then squeeze out moisture with a paper towel.
See a side-by-side cookie comparison of blotted/non-blotted pumpkin cookies.
Besides those 3 tricks, it’s business as usual here! Basic ingredients like brown sugar, pumpkin spices, vanilla, oats, flour. One little extra I like to add? Maple syrup. I made cookies like this a few years ago and used molasses. Delicious. Wonderful. Superb. But maple syrup? Even better. And it doesn’t take away from the pumpkin flavor. Rather, it lifts it right up.
I suggest using a cookie scoop. I always use a cookie scoop when I make oatmeal cookies. Once you scoop each, slightly flatten them down. The cookies don’t spread *too much* but they will spread a little if you flatten it out first. Just like this:
There’s no shortage of chocolate chips. Want to change things up? Use white chocolate chips! Or cinnamon chips. Chopped pecans, dried cranberries, or be a total rebel and leave the pumpkin oatmeal cookies plain. There’s enough pumpkin spicy (!!!) in each cookie that you don’t even need add-ins.
But those melty chocolate chips when the cookies are fresh out of the oven? I strongly encourage you to experience that magic firsthand. HAPPY FALL!!!
More pumpkin recipes to try this weekend:
- Brown butter pumpkin oatmeal cookies
- Pumpkin cinnamon rolls (do it. doooooo it.)
- Mini cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins
- Healthier pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
- Pumpkin streusel bars
Update: These chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are part of my 8 recipe video mini series called Sprinkled. Watch me make them!
Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 cups + 1 Tablespoon (258g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice1
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups (120g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 3 Tablespoons (45ml) pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup (170g) pumpkin puree (see note)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (270g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and oats together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk the melted butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg yolk, blotted pumpkin, and vanilla extract together until combined. Pour into dry ingredients and mix everything together until completely combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop cookie dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Flatten slightly. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
- Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. While the cookies are still warm, I like to press a few more chocolate chips into the tops-- this is only for looks!
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 4 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
*Instead of pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + (an extra) 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
*Squeeze as much of the moisture out of the pumpkin puree as you can before adding it to the cookie dough. I simply squeeze the puree with paper towels. See photo in the post for a visual. This will help produce a less cakey cookie. Less moisture is a good thing in these cookies!
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SHOP THE RECIPE
Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.