The thing with pumpkin cookies is that they are often puffy and cakey... NOT these! This recipe makes incredibly soft and CHEWY Pumpkin Cookies that stay chewy for up to a week and even improve with age! I am in love with these and they may replace my favorite ginger cookies for the spot for best Fall cookie! They are made with brown butter, pumpkin pie spice, real pumpkin and a cinnamon sugar coating - talk about delicious! I highly recommend you try my Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies too if you love pumpkin!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Brown butter cookies - the addition of brown butter really makes these pumpkin cookies stand out with that rich and nutty flavor. If you've never made brown butter before, it's easy! Check out the instructions below.
- Soft and chewy texture - these cookies are nice and chewy! They are not cakey like a lot of pumpkin cookies can be.
- Pumpkin spice cookies - a fragrant blend of cinnamon, ginger, clove, allspice and nutmeg adds warm cozy flavor to these cookies.
- Cinnamon sugar - these cookies are rolled in cinnamon sugar for a sweet crunchy spicy coating which helps keep them chewy and also makes them extra delicious.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHEWY PUMPKIN COOKIES
- Brown butter - for this recipe you can use unsalted or salted butter. If you use salted butter, then reduce the added salt by half. You will also need to brown the butter which makes these cookies taste incredibly rich! It has a rich, nutty, butterscotch flavor that really adds so much depth and complements the pumpkin and spices. Also, browning the butter removes the moisture (butter is 15% water) to make up for the added moisture from the pumpkin puree. This is one of the secrets for making sure these cookies are chewy and not cakey.
- Brown sugar - this recipe uses all brown sugar. The molasses in brown sugar gives them a toffee-like flavor and also gives them a chewy texture! I prefer light brown sugar, but this recipe also works with dark brown sugar.
- Pure vanilla extract - snickerdoodle cookie dough is based on a vanilla sugar cookie, so the vanilla quality is important. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
- Canned pumpkin - canned pumpkin is easily accessible and inexpensive. You can also make it yourself, but it is important to reduce it down so it is very thick otherwise the moisture balance will be off in the recipe.
- Pumpkin pie spice - use your favorite brand, or make your own from a blend of 1 part nutmeg, clove and allspice with 2 parts cinnamon and ginger.
- Cinnamon sugar - the cinnamon sugar coating gives these cookies a nice crackled top and adds slight crunch with more cinnamon flavour. It's kinda like a pumpkin snickerdoodle cookie!
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Brown the butter. Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat until melted and then continue to cook while stirring occasionally until butter begins to bubble and crackle as the moisture boils off. Keep cooking with frequent stirring until it turns a deep golden color. A dense foam will form at the surface when it is nearly ready. Pour it into a large mixing bowl, then let it cool for 15-20 minutes.
- STEP 2). Combine dry ingredients. Mix together flour, baking soda, spices and salt in a medium bowl and whisk them together to blend evenly.
- STEP 3). Combine butter and sugar. Add brown sugar to the cooled browned butter and whisk until combined. It will look a bit clumpy but it will come together with the egg yolk.
- STEP 4). Mix in egg and pumpkin. Beat in egg yolk until incorporated and creamy smooth. Whisk in vanilla and pumpkin.
- STEP 5). Add dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and fold it in until evenly incorporated.
- STEP 6). Chill the dough. Cover the dough in the bowl and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- STEP 7). Make cinnamon sugar. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- STEP 8). Coat in cinnamon sugar. Scoop mounds of dough and roll into smooth balls, then roll them evenly in the cinnamon sugar. Apply some pressure so you get a nice even coating.
- STEP 9). Bake. Place the balls onto the prepared baking sheets spacing them 2 inches apart and flatten slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and still soft in the middle.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
- Measure the flour accurately to ensure you get the right texture. Too much flour will make them dry and the dough will not spread the right way.
- Let the dough chill in the fridge for at least one hour so that you get cookies with a chewy texture.
- Use a trigger-release ice cream scoop to portion these cookies for even baking and roll the dough portions into smooth balls for a uniform shape.
- Do not skip the cinnamon sugar. The sugar on the exterior of the cookie dough protects it from drying out and also creates the nice cracks and crevices on the surface.
Can I make this recipe without brown butter?
If you do not brown the butter, then the liquid:flour ratio will be off in the recipe and the cookies will be cakey instead of chewy. Browning the butter drives off the water content to account for the added moisture coming from the pumpkin puree.
Can I use salted butter for these chewy pumpkin cookies?
Yes! Salted butter will be fine. In this case I would suggest to use a level ¼ teaspoon of salt instead of a heaped ¼ teaspoon.
Can I use fresh pumpkin for chewy pumpkin cookies?
I use canned pumpkin puree for baking for two main reasons: 1). Consistency - if I buy the same brand all the time then I am guaranteed to have the same results. Homemade pumpkin puree will vary in moisture content depending on how long you cook it; and 2). Ease! - it's so much easier to use canned pumpkin and the quality is just as good.
Do I need to chill the cookie dough?
I highly recommend chilling this cookie dough since it will help with the texture and it will improve the flavour even more. Nonetheless, you can still bake these cookies right away.
How do I store these cookies?
These cookies are best stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week. They stay nice and soft and chewy!
Craving more pumpkin?
If you love baking with pumpkin, check out these recipes:
More cookie recipes...
Here are more of my favorite cookie recipes:
If you love cookies, check out these recipes!Chewy Brown Butter Snickerdoodles CookiesBrown Butter M&M Cookies RecipeLemon Blueberry Cookies with White Chocolate ChunksCoffee Pecan Chocolate Chip CookiesDouble Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk CookiesHazelnut Double Chocolate Chunk CookiesTHE BEST Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies – Bakery Style!
The BEST Chewy Pumpkin Cookies
- ½ cup 113g unsalted butter
- ¾ cup 165g light brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup 60ml pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoon 10ml honey
- 1 ¼ cups 180g all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- heaped ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tsp teaspoon cinnamon
- First, brown the butter. Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat until melted and then continue to cook while stirring occasionally until butter begins to bubble and crackle as the moisture boils off. Keep cooking with frequent stirring until it turns a deep golden color. A dense foam will form at the surface when it is nearly ready. Pour it out into a clean bowl and let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Add brown sugar to the cooled brown butter and whisk to blend. It will look like clumpy wet sand. Add egg yolk and vanilla and whisk until it is smooth and glossy. Add pumpkin puree and honey and whisk to incorporate.
- Add baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice to the wet ingredients and whisk to blend well. Add the flour and use a rubber spatula fold it in until just combined.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Scoop up mounds of dough and roll into smooth balls about 1 ¼ inch diameter. Drop them into the cinnamon sugar mixture and toss to coat. Place them onto the baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart from each other and flatten slightly. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until the edges are browned and the center looks puffed and slightly cracked.
- Allow them to rest on the baking sheet for a 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.