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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spiced Cookies
Cake-like chocolate chip pumpkin spice cookies would make a wonderful addition to any autumn dinner party.
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It seems as though the moment the calendar switches from August to September it’s suddenly pumpkin season. I’m not quite sure when Starbucks brings out their pumpkin spice lattes, but I’ve already seen pumpkin scented candles, hand soaps and pumpkin spice candies for sale, so I figured it was time to roll out my first pumpkin recipe of the season with only a couple of days remaining in August.
My husband, like so many other men, hates anything with pumpkin in it claiming he’s not a “basic bitch.” Sure, buddy, I see your Ugg slippers. You see, my husband was one of those unfortunate soul’s who grew up in a pumpkin-free household. His mother didn’t enjoy cooking with (or eating) pumpkin, therefore he and his brother never quite had the opportunity to form their own opinion on the seasonal ingredient. Since I am one of those people who could eat pumpkin year-round (even though I’ve never tried), it’s always a goal of mine to incorporate pumpkin into recipes that my husband will eat without complaining about it for the next several weeks.
I began developing these cookies at the start of summer. On the Central Coast, we had a few extra weeks of cooler weather before the triple-digit temperatures rolled in, which gave me the perfect opportunity to spend an entire weekend baking various versions of these cookies until I got them just right. The end result is a cookie that’s more cake-like, soft and perfectly chewy with every bite unless you happen to bite into a chocolate chip or a piece of minced candied ginger.
Some people don’t believe that pumpkin and chocolate belong together, but I strongly disagree with that. Every autumn, I make a pumpkin chocolate chip coffee cake and everyone raves about how delicious it is with a piping hot cup of Joe first thing in the morning. Adding even a modest amount of pumpkin will ensure a moist texture in just about any chocolate cake or cookie, so don’t be afraid to try it for yourself.
I use my own version of pumpkin spice in these cookies, the store-bought version doesn’t have enough oomph for my liking. The addition of coriander is very noticeable, but I personally love it. Last year, I grew several different varietals of pumpkin, and it allowed me the opportunity to experiment with different types of pumpkin and different combinations of spices. I also played around with canned pumpkin, too. (Not canned pumpkin pie filling.) While tweaking this cookie recipe, I again tried using store bought pumpkin pie spice, and every one I tried still lacked the flavor intensity I was looking for. I strongly recommend taking the time to make your own pumpkin pie spice, whoever is eating your pumpkin recipes will thank you for it.
These cookies have a more adult flavor profile, so I think they would be an impeccable addition to your dessert buffet for a Halloween party or Thanksgiving. While they might not draw as much attention as elaborately decorated cookies, simply arrange them on a striking serving tray surrounded by some eye-catching decorative items (I love these little pumpkins), or get ultra creative with the pumpkin spice glaze when it’s time to drizzle it over the freshly baked cookies.
Another twist on these chocolate chip pumpkin spice cookies is adding a 1/4 cup of chocolate swirl cookie butter to the batter. My local Trader Joe’s doesn’t always have it, so I usually order it from Amazon. Since it’s not readily or easily found, I’ve only included it as an optional variation for the sake of keeping things nice and easy. For the record, my pumpkin-hating husband loves both versions of these cookies.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice, recipe linked above
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or high quality vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon minced candied ginger, add more if you want more ginger flavors in cookies
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole milk, or more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice