Tag Archives: pumpkin spice

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesIt seems like I never make cookies anymore. I made them all the time when I started blogging, but they’re a little bit of a rarity these days. As it stands, I haven’t posted a cookie recipe since August 22nd!

Maybe it’s because I’ve developed more skills in the last three years or that I simply made so many cookies in this site’s early days that I’ve felt sort of “cookied out” lately.
Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesWhatever the reason, making these Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles has been a welcome change of pace. I’ve been preoccupied by complicated things lately—think work, politics, babka, travel, planning every blog post between now and 2019—so it’s been nice to spend time in the kitchen doing one of the things that made me fall in love with baking in the first place.Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesPumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesMaking cookies, y’all. It’s the most delicious self-care I know.Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesAlso delicious? These Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles. They’re an autumnal twist on a classic recipe: soft, puffy pumpkin cookies with a sugary, pumpkin-spiced outer crust. They are simple and straightforward—if you follow the directions as written, you will be rewarded with four dozen cookies.Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesPumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesNow, before you go clicking away because you don’t want to have 48 cookies in your house, know that:

  • You absolutely do want these cookies in your house. Permitting you like pumpkin, of course.
  • They’re small.

Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesEach cookie is made from a tablespoon of dough, making each one roughly half the size of most drop cookies in my archives. I made them this way because:

  • Small food just tastes better.
  • I’d rather eat two small cookies than one medium cookie. Personal preference.

(Um, sorry for all the bullet points today. Not sure where they came from/why I needed to use two separate sets, but I’m going with it.)
Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesI understand that not everyone may feel the same way I do; if you’re not into small cookies, you can scoop the dough in two-tablespoon increments and bake the batches for 11-12 minutes. You’ll end up with about two dozen medium cookies.Pumpkin Spice SnickerdoodlesThat’s what I love about cookies like this—the most complicated part is deciding how big or small you’d like for them to be. I don’t know about you, but that’s the sort of “problem” I could stand to have more often.Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles
makes about four dozen small cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cream of tartar*
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Coating:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugars, followed by pumpkin and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in three installments, mixing until completely combined. Dough may look crumbly, but should hold together well when pinched with clean fingers.

Cover dough with plastic wrap, and chill for two hours, or up to three days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Make the coating. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

Scoop the dough by the tablespoon, and roll into balls. Roll each dough ball in the coating mixture. Place dough balls at least two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies 9-10 minutes, until puffy and no longer raw-looking. Let cool on pans for 5-7 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat scooping, rolling, and baking with any remaining dough.

Cookies keep well covered at room temperature for up to a week. The pumpkin flavor will be stronger on the second day.

Notes:

There are no substitutions for cream of tartar. It is required for this recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

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Pumpkin Babka

Pumpkin BabkaYou can say a lot of things about me, but you can’t say I’m not committed to this blog. If you’ve seen my Instagram stories lately, you know I’ve been on something of a mission—a mission that involved nine separate attempts at babka. Each batch makes two loaves, so that’s 18 babkas!

Last night, my sister made me promise that I wouldn’t make any more babka during the month of October. I think that’s fair.Pumpkin BabkaSome of you may be wondering what in the world I’m talking about, and I totally get it. I had never heard of babka before I moved to New York, but it wasn’t long before I became a fan of the chocolate variety. I mean, what’s not to love about soft yeasted cake swirled with chocolate?!Pumpkin BabkaCinnamon is another popular flavor of babka, but chocolate is definitely king. Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes famously called cinnamon babka “the lesser babka.” I wonder what she’d have to say about this Pumpkin Babka. I sort of hope she’d call it a “basic babka.” That is, if she had time to talk between bites of this buttery, pumpkin-filled treat!
Pumpkin BabkaLet’s talk dough. You’ll find all sorts of babka in NYC (and online). I’ve tried Israeli and Polish versions, and I’m sure there are more varieties. Some are flaky, some are feather-soft. Some have an exposed twist, while others look like any other bread until they are sliced. Some are baked in a ring; others are divided into loaf pans. I think this is why I had to make so many batches before I found a recipe I like.Pumpkin BabkaThis babka—my babka—is heavily adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s popular recipe. It starts with a soft brioche dough that is enriched with butter and eggs and accented with nutmeg and vanilla. I highly recommend making this dough in a stand mixer, although it can be made by hand. As each tablespoon of butter has to be incorporated individually, it’s nice to have a machine doing all that work.

The dough gets kneaded until it’s smooth before being refrigerated overnight. It won’t double in bulk the way most of my yeast doughs do, but it should puff up a little.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaOn the day you want to bake your babkas, divide the dough in half. Working with one portion at a time, roll it into a large rectangle.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaSpread on the filling—in this case, a simplified pumpkin pie filling—before rolling it into a cylinder.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaBriefly freeze the cylinder on a floured baking sheet before cutting off the ends and then slicing it in half lengthwise, thereby exposing the filling.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaCarefully twist the two halves together before placing your unrisen babka in a parchment-lined loaf pan.
Pumpkin BabkaRepeat this process with the other half of the dough before letting babkas rise for 1.5-2 hours, or until they peek (peak?) over the tops of their pans.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaBake the babkas at 350F for about half an hour (or longer, if you are using light-colored pans). When they’re done, they should be deep golden on top, and a skewer inserted in the center should meet no resistance at all. If you, like me, get nervous about things being done, you can use a thermometer to check for doneness. The interior should be 190F.Pumpkin BabkaAs soon as you remove the babkas from the oven, brush them with a good dose of pumpkin spice syrup. You may think the amount in the recipe is too much, but it isn’t. If you try to cut back on this, you’ll miss the sticky glossiness that makes babka a cake rather than just a swirled bread.Pumpkin BabkaAs a baker, I am supposed to tell you to wait to enjoy your Pumpkin Babkas until they have cooled completely. As a human, I’m going to tell you that it’s totally okay to let them cool halfway in their pans before tearing in.Pumpkin BabkaThere’s just something about the combination of warm, fluffy brioche and pumpkin and autumnal spices that are nearly impossible to resist. I’ve eaten A LOT of Pumpkin Babka over the last two weeks, so I know.Pumpkin BabkaOh, yeah. There’s nothing basic about this babka.Pumpkin Babka

Pumpkin Babka
heavily adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi
makes 2 babkas

Babka Dough:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast (not regular active dry yeast)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Pumpkin Filling:
1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin purée (I high recommend Libby’s here)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
pinch of Kosher or fine sea salt

Pumpkin Spice Syrup:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

This is a time-consuming, two-day recipe with many steps. Please read the recipe at least twice before beginning.

The day before you want to bake, make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, nutmeg, salt, and instant yeast. Fit the mixer with a dough hook. Add beaten eggs, water, and vanilla. Turn mixer on low (the “stir” or “2” setting on my Kitchen Aid mixer) and let run until a thick dough forms.

Cut softened butter into 12 one-tablespoon pieces. With the mixer running on low, add butter one piece at a time, waiting until the previous piece is incorporated before adding another. Once all butter has been added, turn mixer up to medium speed (“6” on my mixer) and let run for about 10 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally, until the dough is smooth and pulling away from the bowl.

Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). Dough will not double in size or rise very much during this time—don’t be alarmed.

The day you are going to bake, make the filling. Combine pumpkin, melted butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Use a fork to whisk everything together until well-combined. Set aside.

Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans. Line with parchment and grease again. Set aside.

Remove dough from the refrigerator, punch it down and slice it in half. Return half the dough to the refrigerator.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Working with one half of the dough at a time, roll it out to an 11×14-inch rectangle (about 1/8-inch thick). Use an offset knife to spread half the filling onto the dough, leaving 1/2-inch bare on all sides. Starting from a short edge (an 11 inch edge), tightly roll the dough into a cylinder. Some filling may squish out—that’s okay.

Place cylinder on a floured baking sheet and freeze for 10 minutes. Repeat rolling and filling process with remaining dough.

Shape the babkas. Remove one cylinder from the freezer. Slice 1/2-inch off each end. Slice the cylinder in half lengthwise. This will be messy.

Place both halves next to each other, cut-sides-up. Carefully twist them together. Place babka in one of the prepared pans. Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat shaping process with remaining cylinder. Let babkas rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1.5-2 hours, or until they rise 1/2- to 1-inch above the pan walls at their highest point.

Bake babkas at 350F for 30-40 minutes. If you are using a dark pan, your babka should be done closer to the 30 minute mark. Test for doneness with a skewer—if it meets any resistance or comes out with dough on it, bake in five minute increments until neither of those things happens. To test for doneness with a thermometer, insert the end into center. If it reads at 190F or above, it’s done.

While babkas are baking, make pumpkin spice syrup. Combine sugar, water, and pumpkin pie spice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Brush hot babkas with pumpkin spice syrup. Let babkas cool in their pans on a rack until they are cool enough to remove them with your hands. Let babkas continue to cool on a rack until they reach room temperature (if you can resist tearing in).

Slice and serve babka. Leftovers will keep tightly-wrapped in plastic at room temperature for up to 48 hours, or in the refrigerator for a few days.Pumpkin BabkaPumpkin BabkaPumpkin Babka

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresThe Autumnal Equinox may not technically be until tomorrow night, but it is now officially Fall in my kitchen and on this blog. Time for apples and warming spices and dark caramel and, of course, pumpkin!Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresI’m starting off my Fall baking with these Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares. They’re made with the seasonal staple, pumpkin purée, along with my favorite pumpkin pie spice blend and a good hit of granulated espresso.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresThose ingredients, together with the usual suspects like all-purpose flour, butter, a touch of baking powder and a hint of vanilla, bake up into a thick, soft bar base.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresPumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresThis portion of the process takes all of 35 minutes and smells so. freaking. good. that you might have a hard time letting them cool completely before tearing into them.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresPumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresBut you should, because the next step is topping them with a thick layer of fluffy vanilla buttercream.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresPumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresI think vanilla buttercream can enhance almost any dessert flavor combination, but it’s especially good here as a foil to the pumpkin spice and coffee flavors. I like to top these squares with sparkling sugar, too, for a little something extra.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresPumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresThese bars slice like a dream—I love those clean edges! Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares are very visually appealing, making them perfect for any myriad of Fall occasions. Let’s start by celebrating that it’s Fall at all ❤ Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares
makes one 9-inch pan, about 16 bars

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso granules (I use Medaglia d’Oro)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup pure pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
sparkling sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch square pan. Line with parchment, leaving overhand at the edges, and grease again. Set aside.

Make the cookie layer. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, espresso granules, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in granulated sugar and light brown sugar, followed by egg, pumpkin purée, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, beating just until combined. Dough will be thick.

Spread dough into prepared pan with a silicone spatula. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until no longer wet-looking. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Let cookie layer cool completely in the pan on a rack. Do not remove bars from pan.

Make vanilla buttercream. In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in confectioner’s sugar in two installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Beat in salt, followed by vanilla and heavy cream.

Use an offset icing knife to frost bars. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if desired. Freeze pan for 10 minutes to make bars easier to slice cleanly.

Use overhang to carefully lift bars onto a cutting board. Gently peel back edges of the parchment. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice into 16 bars, wiping the knife clean between cuts.

Serve squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container with wax paper between layers. They will keep at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five.Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie SquaresPumpkin Spice Latte Cookie Squares

Palmiers, Two Ways

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers (you might know them as “Elephant Ears”) are a simple pastry made by rolling a thin layer of filling into a sheet of flaky pastry dough. If you’re anything like me, you spent way too much of the early 2000s watching Ina Garten make them on the Food Network.

Palmiers, Two WaysThe whole appeal of palmiers is that they’re stupid easy and make you look like you know things about French pastry. It’s super common to use frozen puff pastry for palmiers–Ina does it, and until a couple of weeks ago, that’s all I’d ever used too. After using a sheet of rough puff pastry leftover from making Maple Pear Tarts though, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to using the packaged stuff. I mean, look at these layers 😍

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysYou can certainly use frozen puff pastry (preferably the all-butter stuff) for today’s recipes, but I encourage you to try your hand at making rough puff. Pastry is intimidating to many home cooks, but this one is about as easy as if gets. As I said a couple of weeks ago, it’s easier than pie dough.

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysThe possibilities for filling are nearly endless. Since the pastry doesn’t contain any sugar on its own, it works well with both sweet and savory fillings. Basically, if it can be spread or scattered, it can almost certainly be rolled into a palmier. I mean, if you play your cards right, you can start and end your meal with these elegant little pastries.

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysIf you’re looking for a way to spice up your Turkey Day hors d’oeuvres spread, look no further than my Spinach Artichoke Palmiers. They’re filled with a slightly deconstructed version of my mom’s Artichoke Dip: a slick of mayonnaise, some chopped artichokes, and grated parmesan. I added spinach to bulk them up a bit, but you can leave it out if you like. I might swap it for chopped green chilies next time.

Palmiers, Two WaysAs far as dessert goes, I love the idea of serving a plate of Pumpkin Palmiers alongside a pot of coffee. And pie.

Palmiers, Two WaysWhat?! It’s Thanksgiving. It’s a two-dessert day. Three, if you count the Apple Cider Coffee Cake that you absolutely should make for breakfast. Anyway…

Palmiers, Two WaysPumpkin Palmiers are filled with a very pared down version of pumpkin pie filling: a light brushing of butter, pumpkin purée, three tablespoons of light brown sugar, and some pumpkin pie spice. Mix everything up and spread it all over the pastry.

Palmiers, Two WaysRoll up the dough and give it a chill.

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysSlice up the palmiers and give them a quick brush with milk and a sprinkling of coarse sugar.

Palmiers, Two WaysIf you’re making the Spinach Artichoke version, swap the sugar for parmesan–toasty cheese, y’all 🙌🏻🙌🏻

Palmiers, Two WaysNo matter which kind of palmiers you’re making, the baking process is the same. Let them go for ten minutes at 400F. Flip them over, brush them with more milk and sprinkle on more coarse sugar (or cheese). Let them bake for ten more minutes and then, well…

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysThis is the part where you pretend you know things about French pastry.

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysAnd I mean, after making palmiers from scratch, you sort of do.
Palmiers, Two Ways

Palmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysPalmiers, Two WaysSpinach Artichoke Palmiers {Elephant Ears}
makes about 1.5 dozen small pastries

Rough Puff Pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold

For the palmiers:
1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts in water
5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 tablespoons mayonnaise 
1 cup grated Parmesan or grana padano cheese, divided
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3-4 tablespoons milk

Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Make the palmiers. Line a plate with paper towels. Drain artichoke hearts and transfer to a cutting board. Blog with paper towels. Slice them in half lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Place thawed chopped spinach in the center of a clean hand towel. Working over a bowl or sink, gather the edges of the towel and wring out all the excess water from the spinach. Set aside.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Spread mayonnaise onto the dough, leaving a thin border on the edges. Scatter artichoke hearts and spinach over the top, followed by 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and a few grinds of black pepper. Working with one side at a time, tightly roll the two long sides of the dough toward each other until they meet in the middle. Carefully wrap the long tube of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed quarter-sheet pan or jelly roll pan with parchment.

Remove filled dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and transfer to a cutting board. Blocking the end with your fingers or a bench scraper (so no filling gets out), use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the dough in 1/2-inch slices and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared pan. Brush with milk and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake 10 minutes. Flip palmiers with a spatula, brush with more milk and sprinkle with more Parmesan. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes on the pan on a rack before removing to a serving plate. Palmiers are best the day they are made.

Pumpkin Palmiers {Elephant Ears}
makes about 1.5 dozen small pastries

Rough Puff Pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold

For the palmiers:
1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3-4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon coarse sugar (I used turbinado)

Make the pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Make the palmiers. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together pumpkin purée, light brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Brush dough with butter. Spread pumpkin filling onto the dough, leaving a thin border on the edges. Working with one side at a time, tightly roll the two long sides of the dough toward each other until they meet in the middle. Carefully wrap the long tube of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed quarter-sheet pan or jelly roll pan with parchment.

Remove filled dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and transfer to a cutting board. Blocking the end with your fingers or a bench scraper (so no filling gets out), use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the dough in 1/2-inch slices and place them about 2 inches apart on the prepared pan. Brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 10 minutes. Flip palmiers with a spatula, brush with more milk and sprinkle with more coarse sugar. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes on the pan on a rack before removing to a serving plate. Palmiers are best the day they are made.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}

Before I get to the recipe, I just want to say thank you for the overwhelming response to On Self-Care & Food Blogging. I’m so fortunate to have such thoughtful and supportive readers.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}While reorganizing my Recipe Index last week, I was astonished at the lack of vegan pumpkin recipes in my repertoire. Besides being a delicious vehicle for warm autumnal spices, pumpkin is an excellent egg replacer–something about the water content and fibrous innards, I suppose. All I know is that if you use 1/4 cup of the stuff in place of each large egg in a cookie recipe (and add a little pumpkin pie spice), you’ll likely escape the cakey cookie problem that plagues so many home bakers this time of year. And if you substitute melted coconut oil for the usual butter…well, you might suddenly have a lot of vegan friends asking about Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Not that I’d know anything about that 😊

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan} come together easily–no need for a mixer. Just whisk together some melted coconut oil, light brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla, before folding in a mixture of flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}At this point, you could add anything you like to the dough–dried fruit, nuts, candy, you name it. I’m usually all for that sort of thing, but sometimes simple is best. Pumpkin and chocolate are wonderful together; I made that pairing into some killer blondies a couple of weeks ago and I’m bringing back again today. I mean, why mess with perfection? Vegans like pumpkin and chocolate too.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}Chill the dough for a couple of hours before rolling it into balls and baking at 350F for about ten minutes. They won’t spread much, remaining tall and puffy after they come out of the oven. Let them cool on a rack for a few minutes before enjoying.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}I am crazy about these cookies, y’all. They have chewy edges and soft centers, and the chocolate somehow stays a little melty long after it has reached room temperature. For those of you concerned about these cookies having a coconut flavor from the coconut oil, know that it’s very mild, especially if you use the refined stuff. As with most pumpkin baked goods, the autumnal flavor of these cookies intensifies the day after they’re made, easily masking any tropical undertones and making this a quality make-ahead recipe.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}A pumpkin recipe that’s packed with chocolate, vegan, and is best if made ahead?! I’d be running to the kitchen right now if I were you.Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}
makes about 22 medium cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup coconut oil, melted (use refined for a milder flavor)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix in pumpkin purée and vanilla. Use a silicone spatula (or wooden spoon) to fold dry ingredients into wet. Fold in chopped dark chocolate. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours or up to three days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Scoop dough in two tablespoon increments. Roll into balls and place them at least 2.5 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake 5 minutes before rotating the pans top to bottom and baking an additional 4-5 minutes. Let cookies cool on pans for five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat baking process with any remaining dough.

Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Pumpkin flavor will intensify as the days go on.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Vegan}