With all the hundreds of thousands of different pumpkin variations (cookies, especially) roaming around the internet these days, sometimes my only coping skill in the midst of the overwhelming onslaught is to go back to the classics (that, plus a nap).
I’ve been making these beautiful, fluffy little pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for years. No, I take that back. One fall, I decided to ignore this favorite cookie and focus on other styles of pumpkin cookies that were, I’m sad to say this out loud, a little more gourmet and not quite so humble. It was a sad holiday season. And I didn’t fully realize it until about the next March when I figured out the source of my melancholy: I hadn’t made my go-to pumpkin chocolate chip cookie when pumpkin season was raging (well that and the fact that I was living in Minnesota at the time and it was -30 below…in March). I’ve never made that same mistake again.
Fall is not fall without these babies sitting atop the cooling rack on the counter as the kids rush in from school (they’ll probably never know or appreciate how lucky they are that there are real, live cookies left for the eating on these days…).
While there will never fail to be a new, great, pretty, awesome pumpkin cookie to try out and tweak and love (I’m sure I will try about 43 pumpkin cookie versions this year alone), this tried-and-true perfect pumpkin chocolate chip cookie will always be my first love. Plump with pumpkin and loads of chocolate, these cookies are light and fluffy and terribly, terribly easy to make. Delicious just a bit warm from the oven, if you can even stand to believe it, they are even tastier a few hours later or the next day.
Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup (7.5 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (3.25 ounces) lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) oil (see note)
- 15-ounce can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) all-purpose flour (see note about using whole wheat flour)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see note)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 cups (6-12 ounces) chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
- In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, pumpkin and vanilla and mix until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and mix again.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix for just a couple seconds. With streaks of flour still remaining, add the chocolate chips and mix until combined.
- Drop the cookie batter by heaping tablespoonfuls (I use my #40, 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop) onto the prepared baking sheets. If there are jagged edges and you want a perfectly round cookie, wet your hands lightly (not dripping) with cold water and gently smooth the edges of the cookies. Because they will bake up quite puffy, if you want a cookie that’s a bit flatter, lightly press with the palm of your slightly wet hand.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
These days, I usually use melted coconut oil (make sure it isn’t hot or overly warm when using) but in the past, I’ve used vegetable, canola, light olive, or avocado oil with great results (even melted butter works although the cookies aren’t quite as tender and moist for some reason).
I’ve subbed in white whole wheat flour before with good results (albeit a slightly heartier, heavier cookie). A great starting point would be to use 50% white, 50% white whole wheat flour. If you aren’t using a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients, measure with a light hand – don’t pack the flour into the cup.
If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice in your pantry, use the following for this recipe: 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon cloves.
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Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe