Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

By Emily Russo, MS, RD, CDN

Lightly spiced, chocolatey, and chockfull of pumpkin and oats, this cookie celebrates pumpkin season in exactly the way you hope!
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If you don’t have a pumpkin cookie recipe (or even if you do!) this one will be the new standard in your household. Lightly spiced, chocolatey, and chock full of pumpkin and oats, this cookie hits all the right notes. And the best part is that it doesn’t have to be perfect to taste great!

 

The Great Mistake
Mistakes happen to everyone. I tell this to my kids – ages 5 and 3 – all the time. Mistakes are what make us human. In kindergarten, my son’s teachers tell kids that each time we fail, our brain gets stronger. And in summer camp this year, he earned prizes for making mistakes, because that meant he was putting himself out there, he was trying, and he was learning.

This is what I told myself when we were testing and photographing this recipe for my mom’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. One time I forgot half the butter, the next time I used old fashioned oats instead of quick oats, and I even managed to over-bake a batch (or two 🤦🏽‍♀️). Even with mom’s handwritten recipe by my side (so special!), I still couldn’t get it right.

Lightly spiced, chocolatey, and chockfull of pumpkin and oats, this cookie celebrates pumpkin season in exactly the way you hope!

My mom’s handwritten recipe, which I will cherish forever. Seeing her handwriting is so special!

 

 

So what did I learn from these baking mistakes?

Lessons Learned
First, these cookies are so forgiving. Every batch–even the ones with half the amount of butter–came out delicious. Different but delicious. It’s like when you make a wrong turn and Google reroutes you and somehow you still get to your destination on time.

(And a reminder that mistakes can turn into something valuable–thanks for the inspiration with your penicillin discovery, Sir Alexander Flemming!)

Taste Test
Ann is a great taste-tester and recipe developer (clearly), so I borrowed her thoughts to paint the picture of how scrumptious these cookies truly are: “They are tender (from the pumpkin–and the oats help prevent them from being too soft, sort of balances the pumpkin) and more like a chewy chocolate chip cookie than a crisp one, but perhaps a little heartier. I shared with extended family and they were a hit…and then I made more!” 

I would personally describe the cookies as a quintessential seasonal delight. A great fall cookie (or anytime cookie). An after dinner dessert. A snack for after school. A crowd pleaser. They taste like they have more oopmh than a traditional cookie–you can taste the pumpkin and the oats–and the tenderness has almost a muffin-like feel. 

But What do the Kids Say?

I handed the cookies out to my kids and their pals at school pick up, and they were devoured in about a minute. One mom said they must be really good because her daughter has very specific food preferences and ate this one right up!

Kids are usually pretty honest, making them great barometers for recipe testing. So, I feel confident you and your family will love them as much as we do!

Winner
Bottom line, they are delicious, and just what the season ordered. Enjoy the recipe as is, with modifications (in the notes section), and with an optional glass of cold of milk 😋.

Lightly spiced, chocolatey, and chockfull of pumpkin and oats, this cookie celebrates pumpkin season in exactly the way you hope!

First combine the dry ingredients: flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.

Lightly spiced, chocolatey, and chockfull of pumpkin and oats, this cookie celebrates pumpkin season in exactly the way you hope!

A hand-held or stand mixer may be used to cream butter (I’ve used one stick by mistake and the cookies were still yummy, but two sticks is best!), and then gradually add the sugar, followed by the egg and vanilla.

Lightly spiced, chocolatey, and chockfull of pumpkin and oats, this cookie celebrates pumpkin season in exactly the way you hope!

The addition of pumpkin puree adds extra fiber, vitamins, and and a touch of seasonal color to this delicious cookie. It gets added to the dry mixture, along with the other wet ingredients, before adding chocolate morsels and scooping.

Lightly spiced, chocolatey, and chockfull of pumpkin and oats, this cookie celebrates pumpkin season in exactly the way you hope!

Drop ¼ cup dough (or for more even sizing, use a large ice cream scoop and level it off with a knife) onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Or use parchment paper for less cleanup later.

Lightly spiced, chocolatey, and chockfull of pumpkin and oats, this cookie celebrates pumpkin season in exactly the way you hope!

Pairs so well with a glass of milk and a pumpkin carving activity!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Yield: About 20 cookies
With a mix of pumpkin and oats, and a dash of pumpkin pie spice, this seasonal cookie is delightfully tender, chewy, chocolatey, and absolutely scrumptious!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (254g) all-purpose flour*
  • 1 cup (90g) quick cook oats** 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice***
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup softened butter or margarine****
  • 1 cup (200g) firmly packed brown sugar 
  • 1 cup (192g granulated sugar)
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240g) solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup (225g) semi-sweet choc chips***** 
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  3. Using a mixer (hand-held works fine), cream the butter. Gradually add both sugars, beating until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
  5. Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Stir in the morsels.
  7. For each cookie, drop ¼ cup dough (or for more even sizing, use a large ice cream scoop and level it off with a dinner knife) onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Or line with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  8. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until just set in the middle.
  9. Let cool for 10 minutes on the tray before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
  10. Stored in an airtight container, the cookies will maintain freshness for several days at room temperature. They freeze well too.
Notes

*You may substitute with an equal amount of all-purpose gluten-free flour.
**I’ve used rolled oats in place of the quick, which give the cookies a bit more texture.
***The original recipe did not call for pumpkin pie spice, so feel free to omit. But, I think it adds a little of that extra pumpkin flavor we crave in a pumpkin cookie!
****I’ve made these cookies with 1 stick of butter and 1½ sticks butter instead of 2 sticks. I think 2 sticks is best, but if you are in a jam, they will turn out well with less butter. In this case, be careful not to overbake, as they may become dry.
***** The original recipe called for 1 cup of chocolate chips, but I think 1½ hits the right mark. You can use 2 cups if you like them very chocolate chippy; or dot a few extra on top of the scooped cookies before baking.

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Comments

  1. Emily Post author

    Anne, I am thrilled you enjoyed them and I hope your grandkids will too. I am not a particularly precise baker, so any recipe that’s flexible and forgiving is perfect for me. In the original recipe, my mom had noted she made them large and so we stuck with that. But a small cookie is nice for small hands, and so I’m glad you made that edit! Please feel free to report back on the verdict but I’m optimistic!

    Reply
  2. Anne Besterman

    Hi Emily! I just made these and they are yummy … I love how all the flavors blend together so beautifully! The pumpkin gives them such a nice texture but isn’t at all overpowering; as a matter of fact, I won’t tell my (often picky) grandchildren about the “pumpkin part” and I’m sure they will never guess!
    I must have made mine much smaller than yours because my recipe made 40+ … even better – more to freeze! I love your quote that failures make your brain grow stronger!

    Reply