These Chewy White Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies get just the right amount of salt and spice from pretzels, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
I must be the last blogger in the world to start posting pumpkin recipes. Sorry, guys, but it just didn’t feel right until the clock struck October. September is for apples. October is for pumpkin. November is for pie. December is for ALL THE COOKIES. January is for kale (and self-loathing). That’s the proper order, right?
I sincerely hope you’re not already pumpkin-ed out, because I have a couple of pumpkin treats lined up for you this month, starting with these fancy little White Chocolate Pretzel Pumpkin Cookies.
Here’s the thing about pumpkin cookies. They’re usually always big, fat, fluffy cookies–like cake in portable form. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of cookie. In fact, one of my favorite pumpkin cookies is just like that. But sometimes I don’t want a cake cookie. I want a thick, chewy cookie you can really sink your teeth into.
I’ve searched high and low for that perfect chewy pumpkin cookies, and I’ve finally got it! It took a few tries, and a little splicing and dicing from several different recipes, but this is it–a lovely little cookie with the texture of my favorite chocolate chip cookie and the taste of pumpkin spice.
Let’s chat about white chocolate for a sec. Normally I’m not a big fan. It always feels a bit cloying to me, like it’s trying too hard. But when it comes to pumpkin flavored desserts, you can throw that statement out the window. White chocolate is a natural fit for pumpkin. It tempers the spiciness of the cloves and nutmeg, and provides just the right amount of melty sweetness in every bite.
And since we’ve got our warm spices and sweet chocolate, I decided the only other thing these cookies needed was a little salt. If you’ve ever accidentally left salt out of your baked goods before, you know how important that little 1/2 teaspoon is. Salt is the bling of baked goods. Just a few granules makes everything sparkle.
This cookie has the standard amount of salt in the batter, but then it gets an extra dose on top from the pretzel. The pretzel is the bling of this cookie. Is it totally necessary? No, but it sure does make the whole thing a lot more fab, wouldn’t you say?
Now before you rush off to make these (I applaud your enthusiasm!), let me share a few notes.
- The batter for these is super easy. It’ll take you fifteen minutes max, and you don’t even have to break out the mixer.
- Buuuuut, don’t get too excited because these absolutely have to be chilled before you bake them. One hour is the minimum, but you can let them chill overnight if you like. Just take them out about 10-15 minutes prior to scooping so it’s not like chipping away at an ice berg.
- Baking time is important here. You want to take these out when the centers still look a little under baked. They’ll set up on the pan, sink a bit in the middle, and develop those signatures crags and crevices that are the sign of a good chewy cookies.
- I know I’ve mentioned this with other recipes, but I always recommend you bake a test cookie. There’s no sense in under or over baking an entire batch of cookies. Start with a single cookie, and use that to help determine the best baking time in your oven.
That’s it, folks. You’re only 15 minutes + a few hours away from chewy, salty, spicy, sweet pumpkin cookie goodness. I’ve made three batches this week. You’ve been warned.
White Chocolate Pretzel Pumpkin Cookies
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 20 whole pretzels
- In a medium sized, microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the brown and granulated sugar and whisk until no lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin puree.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until no white remains. The dough will be very soft. Stir in the white chocolate chips.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour or overnight. If you refrigerate more than 3 hours, you'll need to take the bowl out and allow the dough to warm up for 10-15 minutes before scooping.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. *Note: I recommend starting with one test cookie before baking the entire batch. Scoop the dough by the rounded Tablespoon onto the baking sheet, spacing them an inch apart. Just barely press a pretzel into the top of each one. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set and center is still puffy and underbaked. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to set up on the baking pan for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Store cookies in an airtight container. Cookies will stay soft for at least five days, but the pretzels will get soggy.