Many pumpkin purée cans have become casualties of my madness.
Many hours have been spent by the stove top.
And most unfortunately, many sticks of quality butter have gone into making sub-par chocolate chip pumpkin cookies.
Initially I knew, without a doubt, that I wanted to make chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. However, the last thing I wanted to make was a batch of cakey pumpkin cookies (which might as well be bastardized pumpkin bread).
Alas, practically all recipes for pumpkin or pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are of said cakey variety. What has this world come to?! There are many injustices in the world, cakey cookies being one of them.
So I set out to make my mark on this world and cure one such injustice.
First, there were many questions to answer: What causes a cakey cookie? Why are some cookies cakey while others are chewy? And why do pumpkin cookies always seem to turn out cakey?
Cakey cookies, my friends, are often the result of excessive moisture content. It’s no surprise then that pumpkin purée – approximately 90% water by mass – results in cakey pumpkin cookies. So how did I remove the moisture?
Cook the ever livin’ heck out of the pumpkin, thereby dehydrating it to the point of being flour-like in consistency.
It took about 4 mini failed trial batches to get the ratios, flavors, and chewiness just right. I could just about cry thinking about the virtually wasted pumpkin and butter…but let’s not dwell on the past. Besides, how could I cry when I’m so busy rejoicing non-cakey, chewy chocolate chip pumpkin cookies! Talk about a major textbook distraction.
While the resulting cookies aren’t a typical pumpkin orange-as-Kraft-macaroni hue, ils sont delicieux. Fall flavors and ooey gooey chocolate abound in each bite. What more could one ask for in a pumpkin cookie? I certainly wasn’t going to ask any questions, nor were my taste-testers. Try asking questions with a mouth full of pumpkin, spices, and melted chocolate; if you ever want to horrify someone, that’s a good way to do it.
Is the process slightly time-consuming? Indeed, that much is certain. But cakey? No! Never! They’re chewy. Tender. Soft on the inside, slightly crisp on the outside. Thick, but not too thick. Everything a perfect cookie should be.
**Edited to add: A few people have reported problems with these cookies. Admittedly the pumpkin cooking process is very unscientific and hard to replicate each time. I myself had great difficulty with the trial-and-error process. Therefore, I cannot guarantee what type of result (good or bad) one might get. Proceed at your own risk! This recipe is experimental at best. So, if you’re looking for a challenge or are craving non-cakey pumpkin cookies, give it a try. If you prefer perfected recipes that produce great results every time, I’d suggest you look through some other recipes.
Non-Cakey, Chewy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin purée
- 2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (270 g)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (32 g)
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed (330 g)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) light butter, softened
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 to 1-1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips, to preference
- In a large saucepan, cook pumpkin purée initially for 50 minutes over medium low heat, stirring and scraping bottom frequently with spatula. With about 10 minutes remaining, increase heat to just under medium. Stir and use spatula to continuously chop into smaller and smaller pieces. Remove from heat. Place dehydrated pumpkin in bowl and refrigerate until cooled. Pumpkin should be the consistency of crumbs.
- Place pumpkin in blender and blend for about a 30-60 seconds, or until most granules are very fine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, dehydrated pumpkin, cornstarch, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer, beat together brown sugar and butter until incorporated. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in desired amount of chocolate chips.
- Refrigerate dough for at least 1.5 hours, preferably 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two baking sheets. Scoop up desired portion of dough and roll into a ball between your palms. Place on baking sheet and repeat until there are 6 dough balls on the sheet.
- Bake cookies 10-16 minutes, depending on size. Slightly under-bake each batch, remove from oven, and let cookies sit on baking sheet while the next batch bakes. Refrigerate dough between batches.
- Repeat steps 6 and 7 with remaining dough.
Note: This post was submitted to Sweets for a Saturday at Sweet as Sugar Cookies.