Chewy Pumpkin Cookies

I hate to admit it, but I think this this country has a pumpkin spice problem. It drives me crazy that for as beautiful of a season as autumn is, we have boiled it down to a single flavor. Yes, pumpkins and cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves are all lovely things, on their own or all together. But I have found that when artificially added to everything from crackers to ice cream to coffee to cereal (Trader Joe’s, I’m looking at you) it makes this seasonal flavor feel a bit less special. I say, if you are going to do pumpkin, do it right. So I give you the ultimate soft and chewy pumpkin cookie recipe. I tried these cookies my first year on the job after college when a coworker brought them in, and I hounded her incessantly for the recipe in the following days. The recipe’s origin is unknown to me, but I have been making them every fall since without fail, and they never cease to please. Note that you need to purchase plain pumpkin puree for this recipe (not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling), and you can get a great organic version at Whole Foods.

Chewy Pumpkin Cookies (Yields: 3 dozen)


2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened

1 cup 100% pure pumpkin

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Glaze (I normally halve this glaze recipe, it also works just fine without the butter)

2 cups sifted powdered sugar (you want it lump-free)

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture, about one-quarter at a time. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Combine all glaze ingredients in small bowl and stir until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cookies once cooled.

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