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Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

I took my favorite chewy cookie recipe, subbed pumpkin butter for regular butter and stuffed it with pecans, fragrant cinnamon, and spicy nutmeg.

I’m sorry guys, but I couldn’t put this off any longer. We’ve already made our annual trip to the apple farm and I’ve worn boots twice this week. A scarf is becoming a regular part of my wardrobe. There’s no getting around it. It’s pumpkin time.

This year while we were at the magical place that is Lynd’s Fruit Farm, I discovered something wonderful. Thick, sweet, burnt orange pumpkin butter.

That’s right. Pumpkin. Butter.

They took fall’s favorite flavor and turned it into butter.

Well, of course, I had to grab ten jars a jar and take it home with me. Then came the tough part. Deciding what to do with it (other than eat it with a spoon…which I did…multiple times).

My pinterest feed has been overtaken by pumpkin desserts–everything from towering stacks of pancakes to  donuts to layered pies–but in the end I was in the mood for something a little homier. Something comfy and cozy, familiar and warm. I was in the mood for chocolate chip cookies. (Which, let’s face it, is really what I’m in the mood for 95 percent of my life).

So I simply took my favorite chewy cookie recipe, subbed pumpkin butter for regular butter and stuffed it with pecans, fragrant cinnamon, and spicy nutmeg.

Now I don’t know what it is about pumpkin that causes all baked goods to become cake. I swear if you tried to make pumpkin pudding, it would somehow turn into cake. But I wasn’t after a fluffy cake cookie. I was after a chewy cookie, something I could sink my teeth into.

I tried this recipe several different ways to achieve the chewiest result. The trick I found was to bake at an average temperature (350 degrees), remove from the oven while they’re still underbaked in the middle, and don’t let them set up on the pans. As soon as you get them out of the oven, whisk that parchment paper off the pan like you’re a magician, and let the cookies set up on the cold hard counter top. I found with this method, the cookie fell in on itself leaving a perfectly chewy center. If you want a fluffier, cakey cookie, bake a little longer and let them set up on the tray. As you can see, there’s a pretty big texture difference between the two methods.

The result? A lightly spiced, subtle pumpkin flavor with all the toothsome, buttery goodness of my favorite chocolate chip cookie. This cookie doesn’t scream “Hey look at me! I’m pumpkiny!” It’s much more reserved, gentle. It whispers, “Hey there, friend, why don’t you snuggle up to my craggly self and settle in for a little fall surprise.”

And then it’s all weird because you’re cookie just whispered to you. And asked you to snuggle it.

Just do it. The awkwardness will wear off as soon as you take a bite.

This post is linked over at Roxanna’s Chocolate Party! This month’s party was all about pumpkin and chocolate. Check it out!

Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time Total Time
Yields 30

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin butter
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (table salt would also work fine)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cornstarch.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine butter and pumpkin butter. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Beat in sugars until combined. Add in egg, yolk, milk, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  4. With the mixer on "stir" speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing until a dough forms and no white remains. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.
  5. Chill for about 30 minutes (the dough, not you. But hey, you deserve some chill time too, so why not go watch some Parks and Rec right now?). Remove from fridge. Drop about 1½ inch balls of dough onto the lined baking sheets, leaving an inch of space between each one. Bake for 11-15 minutes (13 was the sweet spot for mine), removing from the oven when the edges are golden but the middle is still unset.
  6. For chewy cookies, don't allow the cookies to set up on the baking sheet for more than 1 minute. After 1 minute, slide the parchment paper off the baking sheet and let them set up on the counter top. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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Recipe by Neighborfood
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  • Jessica@AKitchenAddiction October 11, 2012, 12:30 PM

    Courtney, these are amazing!! Gorgeous cookies!

  • Christina October 12, 2012, 3:16 PM

    These look SO good. Now, educate me. When you say “pumpkin butter,” are we talking about the equivalent to apple butter, but the pumpkin version? Because as much as I love apple butter, it does not, in the least, resemble BUTTER. So are you talking about that pumpkiny equivalent, or is it really like normal butter, but flavored with some pumpkin? Do tell, because I really want to make these, and SOON. 😛

    • Courtney October 12, 2012, 3:40 PM

      Christina–It is like the pumpkin version of apple butter. Texture is thick but not butter-like. That would probably create some really greasy cookies! :)I know Trader Joe’s carries it, but I’m not sure about other grocery stores.

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen October 18, 2012, 10:02 AM

    You´re right, it´s the time for pumpkin and spices. These cookies are the perfect compromise with chips, pecans and the pumpkin butter. Amazing!

  • Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking October 21, 2012, 5:14 PM

    this year was the first time I had pumpkin butter, bought from the pumpkin patch.
    Great choice to use it, I love making cookies and yours look amazing! Thanks for bringing them to the chocolate party

  • Penny Emerson January 6, 2014, 6:01 PM

    MMMmmm these would taste really good with the cinnamon chips they have on the market now too!

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