Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn Pumpkin Cookies

I am going to be honest... there are very few pumpkin cookies I have sampled in my lifetime that I was actually fond of.  Many of them were too soft for my taste, almost muffin like, and didn't contain enough spice or goodies added in.  So last weekend I got it into my head that I needed to create a vegan pumpkin cookie that was up to my standards. 

It had to be substantial, crispy on the inside, but soft in the middle, which could be a little bit of a challenge since pumpkin contains a lot of moisture.  I also wanted there to be plenty of spice.   Pumpkin and spices go together like autumn and leaves!  So I added cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg, my favorite spices to pair with pumpkin.  Lastly there were to be a lot of goodies in these cookies.  Chocolate chips found their way in, as well as fruits which I consider autumnal, crasins, golden raisins, toasted pecans and walnuts, and spicy candied ginger.  They were packed full of goodness!  The dough was wonderful, and of course I couldn't resist having more than a couple samples as I shaped the cookies and prepared them for their stay in the oven. 

Those that made it onto the pan smelled wonderful while baking, the aroma of spice and pumpkin filled my home.  I had one when they were barely cool enough to handle (which I wouldn't advise due to possible mouth burnage), and it was delicious! A true representation of all things autumn in a cookie! 

Once they were cool of course I had some more, and they were everything I was hoping to create!  The essence of pumpkin in a perfectly textured cookie, sweet dried fruit, crunchy toasty nuts, gooey decadent chocolate chips, and just enough spice to be up to par with a pumpkin pie. 

All of my thoughts on pumpkin cookies being inferior to other cookie types in texture etc. have since dissapeared.  I love it when I can change my own mind on a baked good by recreating it! 

I gave a container of them to my boyfriend Scott who needent say anything at all to tell me they were good because he dove right in and had devoured a few of them before I had a chance to say much about them.  He gets this look on his face like a five year old kid when I give him cookies which I just love, and it is easy to tell if they meet his standards of approval for a yummy cookie!  If you have made pumpkin cookies in the past and thought they were too soft, you should try these!  You will be glad you did, and so will your friends if you share them.  Happy October!

Autumn Vegan Pumpkin Cookies
makes 1 1/2 dozen

1 cup maple sugar, or granulated organic sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread at room temperature
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp maple extract
1/2 cup thick maple syrup or agave nectar 
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup crasins
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 cups candied ginger, chopped

In a large bowl, combine buttery spread and coconut oil with sugar and beat until fluffy and well combined. Beat in the pumpkin, vanilla extract, maple extract, and maple syrup until well combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, spices, then add to the large bowl, and mix until well combined. Mix in the chocolate, nuts, and dried fruit, cover, and place in the fridge to chill until firm (I like to leave it overnight). To bake, Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll balls into about 2 inch balls, and place on prepared cookie sheets a couple inches apart (refrigerate unused dough while baking the other trays). Bake for about 15 minutes, until puffed and just starting to brown slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining cookies.


  1. These look and sound wonderful Amy! I love all the different things you included in these. Yum!

  2. I love pumpkin cookies and yours look amazing! I especially love all the goodies in there too. Yum!

  3. These are great! Fall all wrapped up in a cookie!

  4. Oh yum yum yum! I love the looks of these; pumpkin, chocolate, ginger nuts, fruits, spices...what more could you want in a cookie! I'll def being trying them out :)

  5. These are bursting with yummyness!!

  6. These look so good! I love cookies with lots of things in them and also pumpkin is so perfect for fall!

  7. Yes, yes, yes to adding cardamom.

  8. These cookies sound amazing! I'm definitely going to make them this weekend! :)

  9. This looks like one hearty cookie. I am with you pumpkin cookies are normally too soft for what I would call a cookie. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. You are Awesome! these are well, better than words can say!!

  11. I'm loving all the goodness stuffed into these cookies! How could they be anything but delicious!

  12. These have me salivating!!!!!!!!!

  13. That is the most creative pumpkin cookie yet!