Fall baking is in full swing. And maybe I’m as basic as they come, but fall will always mean pumpkin spice. Apples scream late summer, when the days are still warm, and the leaves are just starting to turn. I love that time of year, and I adore the scents and pretty colors. But pumpkin is fall to me.
Pumpkin stands for so many things. It’s a color, a food, a scent, a taste, and most of all a state of mind. Though when you really think about it, when most people think about pumpkin as a concept, they’re mostly thinking of pumpkin spice. And let’s be clear, the spice is actually a very different thing to the fruit.
Pumpkin spice is actually a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. And sometimes allspice, which is, despite its name, NOT a combination of all spices, but actually made from the dried berries of a plant known as Pimenta dioica, which is a member of the myrtle family. These spices have been traditionally added to other ingredients in pumpkin pie, and eventually packaged into their own blend known as “pumpkin pie spice” so that one could simply buy a single premade mix instead of several different spice jars, which could get fairly pricey. Especially if you only use them once a year.
As you might imagine, this pumpkin pie flavor became quite nostalgic for many, and it was seen as marketable by those that see dollar signs behind every nook and cranny. So they began to find new ways to bring that nostalgia to the masses by way of adding those same flavors to other products and calling them “pumpkin spice.” A whole new industry was born!
Suddenly we had pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice cakes, pumpkin spice candles, pumpkin spice creamers, and that once a year dessert that only about half of us even remotely enjoyed suddenly became THE quintessential marker of fall. We all bowed down to the pumpkin gods.
The funniest thing was that there was no actual pumpkin involved in most of it. It was literally all about the spice. In fact, most of the women (and yes, it’s mostly women affected by pumpkin spice mania) I know who can’t wait for “pumpkin season,” will grimace and turn their heads away in disgust when offered a slice of actual pumpkin pie because they haven’t quite forgiven their grandmothers for their horrific squash recipes growing up. And for all its bluster, pumpkin is still just another squash in the garden.
But now we come to the heart of the matter. If pumpkin pie is a non-starter for most, is there any treat that is on the table for the pumpkin-averse? Perhaps this little morsel will tickle your taste buds. It does require a cup or so of pumpkin puree. I go back and forth between the canned stuff and freshly baked from my garden, but in a pinch I have used Libby’s pumpkin pie filling, as well, and all of it works fine.
These pumpkin spice cookies are soft and chewy with a flavor somewhere between pumpkin spice and snickerdoodle. The white chocolate offers an extra sweetness that plays nicely against the spiciness of the cinnamon, and the pumpkin puree is not overwhelming since it is baked into a cakey consistency rather than a thick mousse-like pie.
All in all, these are perfect for those who embrace the pumpkin love, but they’re easy to enjoy by even the most skeptical. The point is that they are for anyone who loves fall.
I hope you will try them and enjoy them, as I do and as those I bake them for do. They have been a hit almost everywhere I’ve brought them. The only hiccup has been the one time I offered them to a friend who I was convinced would enjoy pumpkin if she only gave them a chance. She HATED them. I was distraught. How could anyone hate pumpkin after trying these? They were so inoffensive!
Friends. It turned out she hates white chocolate. The cookies were not the problem.
Let me know if you give these a try. I’d love to hear what you think.
These pumpkin spice cookies with white chocolate drizzle taste like pumpkin pie and snickerdoodles had a baby! They are soft and chewy, sweet and spicy, and most of all delicious!
- 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice blend
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 C sugar, plus 2 TBSP
- 1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 C pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper for easier cookie removal. Spritz with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, blend remaining sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract, beating until smooth. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until combined.
- Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least an hour. Also refrigerate between baking batches.
- Using a cookie scoop, portion the dough into rounded tablespoons. Dip each cookie ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake cookies for 15 to 18 minutes until edges are golden but the center is still soft. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2 to 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.
- Melt white chocolate in the microwave on high, stirring in 30 seconds increments. Do not overheat as the chocolate will seize. Drizzle melted white chocolate over cooled cookies. Allow to set and serve.
For best results, store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator as the cookies will become sticky and flat if left at room temperature for a day or two.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 131mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g
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