Everyday Reading: Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

September 30, 2013

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

I try to keep things light around here, but today we need to talk about something serious.

(You're looking back up at the title of this post and thinking, "Isn't this a post about cookies? How heavy can we get in a post about cookies?").

Every fall, the Internet explodes with all things pumpkin. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies.

And I don't really love pumpkin.

I know admitting to not loving pumpkin is probably blog suicide. Heaven help me if word gets out that I don't like Nutella (jar of mouth-burning chemicals, thank you) or browned butter (the quickest way to turn a perfect stick of butter into a greasy, texture-ruining ingredient). Good thing I do embrace all things salted caramel.

But, I'm happy to let people go on their pumpkin eating way.

Except when it comes to cookies. People. Cookies are supposed to be crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside.

They are NOT supposed to be like muffins. They are definitely not supposed to be like cake.

How are you even eating these things?

And worse, they don't even LOOK pretty. They look like orange lumps. They have zero redeeming qualities. I mean, if a cookie is going to taste bad, it might as well look beautiful. (I told you. Serious talk here on the blog today). I am extremely picky about cookies, and I can't remember ever eating a pumpkin cookie that made me think, "THIS is a really great cookie." The most positive thing I've ever thought about a pumpkin cookie is, "This isn't the worst cookie I've ever eaten."

Pumpkin puree is basically thick wet applesauce. Is it even possible to make a decent cookie with such an ingredient?

(Now you're looking at the title and thinking, "Could any cookie possibly be worth reading through this post?").

In fact, yes. It is possible. These cookies aren't just good by pumpkin cookie standards (low standards, those), but by ANY cookie standards. Or at least my cookie standards, which, if I say so myself, are extremely extremely high. 

They are super chocolate-y, they have crisp edges, and soft, chewy centers, they have all the spices of a pumpkin pie, and a mild pumpkin flavor. They are so much better than any pumpkin cookie I've ever had. 

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies -- the BEST pumpkin cookies. The flavor of pumpkin and the texture (crisp edges, chewy center) of a traditional cookie. Perfect fall treat!


Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies
(adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)

Makes about 2 dozen

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
4 ounces semisweet chocolate (I just used chocolate chips)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into large pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.

In a small saucepan (or in a microwavable bowl) over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter together until smooth. Don't  let it burn. Set aside to cool for a couple of minutes.

While the chocolate cools, use the attachment paddle on a stand mixer to beat together the sugar, pumpkin and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until evenly mixed.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner (I use this one), and scoop golf ball-sized balls onto the cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space between each one (they spread a lot).

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the edges look dry and the tops are cracked. Let cool for 10-15 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies -- the BEST pumpkin cookies. The flavor of pumpkin and the texture (crisp edges, chewy center) of a traditional cookie. Perfect fall treat!

34 comments:

  1. These cookies look and sound great, and I'm always up for a new cookie recipe. If I have time, I may make some for this evening's FHE.

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  2. How timely, since I have TWO DOZEN butternut squash curing on my garden wall at this very moment. A good year for squash in the garden, to say the least. I'm told butternut squash is an excellent stand-in for the pumpkin in pumpkin pie, but since I don't really dig pumpkin pie, this seems like a much better alternative. Because of the chocolate, you know.

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  3. So, my question is, are they still pumpkiny? If someone hadn't told you there was pumpkin in them, would you be able to tell? I like pumpkin. But you are right about them being so much more attractive than orange lumps!

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    1. Yes, definitely still pumpkiny. Just not overwhelmingly so.

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  4. Way to stand tall on your beliefs about pumpkin. I respect that. And thanks to you, now I can combine my personal love of chocolate and pumpkin. That is beautiful.

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  5. These look truly scrumptious, and your pictures are fantastic! Think I may just have to try these out. Yum.

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  6. I think I gasped out loud when you said you didn't like pumpkin! Then when you said you disliked Nutella I considered to stop reading right then and there! ;) Good thing I didn't because these sound delicious. Considering I am a person who actually stocks up on cans of pure pumpkin prior to the end of the season (because it can be difficult to find in the off season), I will definitely be giving this one a try. It is right up my ally of pumpkin desserts.

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  7. Where was this recipe on Friday before I made some decidedly TOO soft and smooshy chocolate pumpkin cookies? I was so unhappy with the texture. Cookies should not be like cake! I should have known better than to even make them. These sound perfect.

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  8. Yum! If you're looking for something to do with the other half of your pumpkin I made this last night and we looooove it: 1 can pumpkin, 1 container cool whip, 1 packet vanilla pudding. Mix it all up and dip graham crackers in it. So good! And easy on the waistline.

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  9. These look almost as delicious as that bread that Derek brought home last night that you made!

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  10. These look good - I love a flat/chewy cookie. I like pumpkin anything but am with you about pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. However, I made the ones from Cookies and Cups (she can do no wrong in my book) and while soft, they were not cakey like cookies I've had in the past and the pumpkin was subtle (3/4 cup in the recipe.) You'd probably still hate them but I tell you all of this because if you don't frequent her blog, you need to.

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  11. I must not be very discriminating about sweets. In fact, I'm certain that I'm not. Any time you lambast any kind of sweet, I just think, "They're just cookies, for crying out loud!" At any rate, Eric's mom brought some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to us last Sunday, and they were not good. She also brought over a package from the store, and they were good. But they were cakey, which would not have suited you.

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  13. Oh my goodness. Finally, a blogger who almost shares my feelings on pumpkin (I actually won't touch it with a ten-foot pole). ;) I follow a few food blogs, and you're right about the pumpkin explosion every fall. One benefit to my dislike of pumpkin is that my blog reading time dramatically decreases as I just click those new posts long enough so they appear 'read' without even reading past the first line. I'm not sure what made me read yours (probably the words 'double chocolate'), but I'm glad I did so I can know I'm not totally alone on the pumpkin thing.

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  14. Finally!!! Someone else who doesn't think Nutella is God's gift to ... everything, doesn't love all things pumpkin, and when it comes to brown butter? I just don't want to spend the time! But these look awesome and I can't wait to try them!!

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  15. Yeeeah, so I really think the pumpkin muffin-cookies are nasty. Always have. The "can of pumpkin, box of spice cake, PRESTO! Cookies!" thing has always nauseated me a bit. Or a lot. And I like my cookies chewy, not cakey. I'll definitely be trying these out, I do love the chocolate-pumpkin combo. I made a chewy pumpkin cookie last fall with butterscotch chips in it that was DIVINE! Will have to find recipe and send your way.

    xox

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  16. Hooray! We non-pumpkin-lovers aren't all alone. : ) I might actually try these for my husband. I think the addition of chocolate might increase my opinion of them quite a bit!

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  17. I make cookies with pumpkin BUTTER (from Trader Joe's). I'd definitely recommend that if you want to make more blatantly pumpkin baked goods for some fall event. The consistency is more like a jam or super soft nut butter, so it bakes into the cookies like those would and makes them more more properly cookie-y (real word).

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  18. Do these really even have enough pumpkin in them to be considered pumpkin cookies? That's probably what makes them so delicious. I agree, the pumpkin muffin cookie is not the best cookie out there. I'd rather have pumpkin bread or a pumpkin bagel with honey butter.

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  19. While I do enjoy a pumpkin cookie, I've found that they must be eaten on the day they are made. I don't like it when cookies turn slimy on top, and that is exactly what pumpkin cookies do when you store them in anything. As for the brown butter....the thought of it makes me want to gag! I don't like butter, but especially the smell of melted butter. I do use butter in my baking, but that's about it. I'll definitely be trying these cookies out. They sound delicious!

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  20. I love your blog but feel so sad that you don't like pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. How can you miss understand them so badly. If I had a pan of them on my kitchen counter right now they wouldn't be here when Noah and David got home. Your cookies look great I will have to try them.

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  21. This summer I subbed pumpkin for most of the oil in my favorite zucchini bread recipe. It was the best sweet bread I've ever made and we figured we cut the fat in the loaf by almost 100 grams. It was moist and spicy and delightful. I gave away several loaves and made lots of new friends.

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  22. These look delish! I love pumpkin! Excited to try these. : )

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  23. I love/hate you for posting these right now, because I'm in a major baking mood, but I SO do not need to eat these. Ugh. Thank you...and no thank you simultaneously ;).

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  24. I love pumpkin, but kind of hate pumpkin pie, and do enjoy fluffy cakey pumpkin cookies, but these DO look good.

    Have you ever done any non-butter baking? I love sweets but my daughter is allergic to dairy so I would feel bad if I made any treats that she can't eat. I know I could probably sub margarine, but I don't know if I want to purposefully add that to something we eat. I've tried coconut oil in baking banana bread, but I don't know how it would turn out in cookies.

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    1. I've had hit and miss attempts with using coconut oil instead of butter since the consistency and amount of fat isn't the same. I use earth balance when I need to use "butter" it works exactly the same but is dairy free!

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  25. I think of you every time I get excited about pumpkin season. I made a batch of pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting on Sunday, and Landen and I both put them in our top 3 favorite cookies. And then I thought, "Janssen wouldn't be having as much fun as we are right now." Haha. At least we can agree about hating Nutella!

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  26. This made me laugh out loud. You are so entertaining, Janssen! I laugh almost every post. PS: I read every post, but it's usually while feeding the baby, so I can never comment. Keep this all going, I love your writing.

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  27. I spotted these on Pinterest and was intrigued. I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, but not those cakey pumpkin cookies! I whipped up a batch of these last night, and although mine came out flatter than yours they were truly delicious. My girlfriend wasn't thrilled with them (she was expecting them to be more pumpkin-y). The pumpkin flavor is definitely subtle but I thought that made them more interesting and complex. More importantly (to me anyway), the chewy texture is perfect. I'll be making them again!

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    Replies
    1. Also-- I think these would be great with mashed banana substituted for the pumpkin. Banana cookies are another thing that never turns out right, for similar reasons.

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  28. I was looking forward to making these since I read this post...I finally just made them. Oh my! Not only do I love pumpkin, but adding chocolate...wow! These are delicious! I made these gluten free by using an all purpose gluten free flour mix (1:1) and 1 tsp of xantham gum. You'd never know they are gluten free. Crisp on the outside and gooey and moist when you bite into it. Can't wait to make these for company! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

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  29. I made these yesterday and they were so good! A keeper for sure. Thanks for posting!

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  30. I have been making these nonstop this fall/winter. Thanks so much, love them! :)

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