• Kara Cushway

Pumpkin Cookies

In case I haven’t made it abundantly clear, fall is my favorite season. The strong spices and cozy clothes, the celebratory feel of the season and the cooler weather (well… in some places) combine to make it pretty much the best part of the year.

Since October is the poster boy for autumn, I thought I’d connect to the season this week by sharing a beloved recipe that my family always make around this time of year. These cookies are soft little pillows of spiced pumpkin studded with chocolate chips and topped with a creamy vanilla frosting. What better way to bring in the season than with a totally OTT cookie recipe? I mean, pumpkin, chocolate chips, AND frosting? As Ina Garten says, how bad can that be?

Pumpkin Cookies

Serving size 1 cookie, 160 calories per serving; recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies


1 ½ c packed brown sugar

½ c butter flavored shortening (or ½ c plus 2 Tbsp butter, softened) 2 eggs 1 ¾ c canned pumpkin (1 15-oz can) 1 Tbsp baking powder 2 ¾ c all-purpose flour 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp salt ½ tsp nutmeg ¼ tsp ginger Optional 1 cup raisins, chocolate chips or pecans


1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together shortening/butter and sugar on medium-low speed until combined, using the paddle attachment. With the mixer running, add eggs one at a time and mix till thoroughly incorporated. Add pumpkin and beat to combine.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and spices. Add salt and dry mixture to wet mixture and stir just till incorporated.

3. Stir in chocolate chips (or raisins/pecans … if you must) - I used mini chocolate chips, but regular chips work, too.

4. Drop heaping spoonfuls of batter onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes at 400˚F or until the edges brown slightly.

5. Allow cookies to cool completely before frosting.

They're almost like little muffin tops. Aren't they cute?

Butter Icing (by Betty Crocker)


3 Tbsp butter, softened 2 c powdered sugar 1 tsp vanilla 2-3 Tbsp heavy cream


1. Cream butter and vanilla together with a pinch of fine salt (optional); sift in powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. Add cream to incorporate, then increase speed to high and whip icing for 2-3 minutes, adding cream to thin icing, and more powdered sugar to thicken, if needed.


  • Depending on the material of your baking sheets, the volatility of your oven’s heat source, and whether the baking sheets were placed on the top or bottom shelf inside the oven, these cookies may brown too quickly or end up underdone at the end of their cook time. To combat this, turn the cookie sheets 180˚ and switch the baking sheets (move the one on the top shelf to the bottom shelf, and vice versa) halfway through the cooking time.

Does your family have any special recipes that are just for fall? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below! Happy baking!


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