Chewy chocolate chip pumpkin cookies the ultimate fall cookie, with lots of perfectly spiced pumpkin flavor and that chewy texture we all love in a cookie.
the chocolate chip pumpkin cookies of your dreams!
Banish the thought of puffy, cake-like pumpkin cookies. And forget about those cookies that pretend to be pumpkin but have no real pumpkin in them. This perfect cookie will make up for all the disappointers. If you love a great chocolate chip cookie and you adore pumpkin you’re in the right place!
the trouble with pumpkin cookies
If you’re not a professional recipe developer you might not realize that it’s quite difficult to come up with a really good pumpkin cookie. You see, pumpkin is a relatively wet food, and liquid is the enemy of a great cookie. Most pumpkin cookies are like little mounds of cake rather than a true chewy cookie. The trick is to infuse that pumpkin flavor into the cookie with as little added moisture as possible. I think we’ve nailed it in this recipe, see what you think.
what you’ll need
- CANNNED PUMPKIN PUREE ~ canned is best (it’s thicker than homemade) and I love Libby’s. The first thing I do is set the puree in a strainer over a bowl to drain off a little of the excess liquid.
- BUTTER ~ I use melted butter in this recipe which really speeds up the whole process and gets those yummy cookies in your tummy in no time.
- WHITE AND BROWN SUGAR ~ the addition of brown sugar contributes that wonderful molasses flavor and helps to make the cookies chewy. You can use dark brown sugar if you want to double down on the molasses flavor.
- EGG ~ eggs help make moist, chewy cookies.
- PUMPKIN PIE SPICE ~ the spices really amp up the pumpkin vibe.
- VANILLA ~ enhances all the flavors.
- BAKING SODA ~ encourages the cookies to spread.
- FLOUR ~ be sure to measure carefully, too much flour will make a cakey cookie.
- CHOCOLATE CHIPS ~ use your favorite, I love dark chocolate.
best type of cookie pan to use
Cookie pans matter and no, they’re not all alike! Every little detail makes a difference when it comes to baking cookies, and cookies definitely bake up differently depending on the pan you use. In this recipe we’re looking for a soft and chewy cookie that spreads a little, but not too much.
- I find that a plain aluminum un-insulated pan works best for these cookies.
- You do not need to grease it, and you can use parchment paper if you like, but it’s not necessary.
- The pan I use is the Nordic Ware aluminum commercial baker’s half sheet. It’s affordable and does the job well.
chocolate chip pumpkin cookie tips and faqs
I don’t recommend homemade pumpkin puree because it is very wet compared to canned pumpkin, and excess liquid is not wanted in this recipe. In fact I recommend draining the canned pumpkin through a sieve to remove even more liquid.
For these cookies I didn’t find that using parchment paper made much of a difference, so use it if you like, or not.
If your cookies are not spreading, you may be using the wrong pan. I use a regular aluminum cookie sheet that is not insulated or coated.
If your cookies are crunchy instead of soft and chewy, you may be baking them too long, or at too high a temperature. Make sure your oven is correctly calibrated (it helps a lot to have an inexpensive oven thermometer so you can be sure.) These pumpkin cookies should appear slightly under-baked when you take them out of the oven, and will firm up as they cool.
Most other pumpkin cookie recipes out there use a combo of baking powder and baking soda. I tested both ways, and found that just using baking soda gave a better result, with one less ingredient to worry about.
No! Again, you’ll often see an instruction to chill your dough for anywhere from an hour to a day, but I tested it both ways and found no need for chilling. I will say, though, that if you mix up your dough and it seems excessively wet and sticky, try letting your dough rest at room temp or in the fridge for just a few minutes to allow the flour to soak up some of the liquid, it makes a big difference.
I very lightly oil my hands which makes rolling a sticky dough super easy. This also has the effect of smoothing the surface of the cookies as they bake for a nice appearance.
Yes, you can make the dough, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking.
Yes! You can freeze them before or after cooking. TO FREEZE BEFORE BAKING: place the balls of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer the balls to a freezer safe container, or a heavy duty zip lock baggie. When ready to bake, just set the balls of dough on a baking sheet, cover loosely, and let defrost on the counter before baking. TO FREEZE BAKED COOKIES: be sure they have completely cooled, then store in a freezer container or heavy duty zip lock freezer bag.
more fall treats
- Easy Apple Fritter Bread
- The Best Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- Apple Cider Doughnut Cake
- Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies
- Maple Pecan Pound Cake
Chewy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
- non-insulated aluminum cookie sheets
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, slightly drained Note: just measure the puree into a strainer and set over a bowl while you get your other ingredients ready. This allows some of the excess liquid to drain off.
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice Note: for homemade recipe see recipe notes below)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (218 grams) Note: be sure to fluff your flour first, then scoop, and level for accurate measurement.)
- 1 cup heaped, dark chocolate chips, plus a few more to pop into the cookie dough balls if needed
- Preheat oven to 375F Note: make sure your oven is accurate, use an oven thermometor to check. Adjust temperature up or down if necessary.
- Set your pumpkin puree in a strainer over a bowl to drain while you gather your ingredients.
- Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl in the microwave. Whisk in the white and brown sugars until smooth.
- Whisk in the drained puree, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Blend together well.
- The mixture may look curdled at this point, that's fine.
- Change to a silicone spoon and blend in the salt and baking soda, making sure to get everything well incorporated.
- Fold in the flour, and then the chocolate chips.
- Use a medium (1 3/4 inch) cookie scoop to portion out balls of dough (I took heaped scoops.) This is a sticky dough, so I like to lightly oil my hands and roll the dough into balls. If your chips seem sparse, pop a few extra into the balls of dough as you roll them. Place, 2 inches apart, on an unlined cookie sheet. Note: if you like to use parchment paper, that's fine.
- Bake on the center rack for 10-12 minutes until set. Note: the exact time will depend on how large your cookies are, whether the dough has been chilled, and whether your oven is calibrated to the correct temperature. You're looking for set cookies that don't look shiney or gooey in the center.
- Let the cookies cool on cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes, then tranfer to a rack to cool completely. The cookies will look puffed when they first come out of the oven, but will flatten down as they cool.
- These cookies are moist and I find the best way to store them is in a single layer at room temperature. I don’t cover them with plastic, just a loose layer of foil, if anything.
If you’d like to make your own pumpkin pie spice, mix together: 3 Tbsp cinnamon, 2 tsp ginger, 2 tsp nutmeg (I love to grind mine fresh!) 1 1/2 tsp allspice, and 1 1/2 tsp cloves. This will make more than you need for this recipe.