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Chewy, soft pumpkin oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips loaded with warm pumpkin spices are a favorite fall dessert. I will share an easy trick to avoid cakey cookies (without bloating the puree with a kitchen towel; it’s a messy affair) and to make the pumpkin shine in the cookies.
When it is fall, it is also the season of baking. And what better way to kick in the season than baking some soft pumpkin oatmeal cookies loaded with warm pumpkin spices and chocolate chips?
These cookies are soft, chewy, and perfectly spiced. Rolled oats give a bite to these cookies, and they don’t fall apart when dunked in warm milk (they also work as breakfast cookies). Pumpkin spice is an aromatic blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. This provides warmth and flavor to the cookies. You can even make this simple spice blend at home, which would have stronger flavors than store-bought ones.
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Everyone will fall in love with these pumpkin oatmeal cookies, for sure. This is going to be the go-to recipe for oatmeal cookies because it has:
- Soft melt-in-the-mouth cookies
- There is no creaming of butter, so a hand whisk or spatula will do the job
- The cookie dough doesn’t need chilling; just mix, scoop, and bake.
- Generously flavored with pumpkin spice
With similar ingredients, you can also make a Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal, that has pumpkin, oatmeal, pumpkin spices, shredded apples, and maple syrup. This makes a nice breakfast option.
Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies—Not Cakey Cookies
Unlike other pumpkin cookies, these are not cakey. Trust me, I would rather have a cupcake or muffin than eat a cakey cookie.
Baking is science. The quality and quantity of ingredients used make a big difference. Instead of getting into the details of baking science, let’s talk about these cookies. Cookies need to be soft, chewy, and melt in the mouth.
To get chewy cookies:
- Use melted butter instead. No need for creaming butter; just use a hand whisk to mix.
- Use a mix of brown sugar and white castor sugar
- The proper ratio of flour and butter or other fat
But when you use fruit or vegetable puree, the recipe needs further adjustment. Fruit and vegetable purees introduce a lot of moisture to the dough, which in turn results in cakey cookies. The cookies will look more like muffin tops.
After numerous tries, I had to give up on banana cookies because, no matter how many tweaks I made, the cookies turned out to be cakey. But these pumpkin oatmeal cookies came out really nice and chewy.
less moisture –> Less cakey, chewy cookies
Canned or homemade, pumpkin puree has lots of moisture and water. The best way to remove the moisture is to cook the puree down until almost all the water has evaporated. This step not only reduces moisture, but the pumpkin flavor also intensifies.
Ingredients you need
- Pumpkin Puree: Homemade or canned—is fine. I find homemade puree has a little less moisture. But because we are reducing the puree, it really doesn’t matter much.
- Rolled Oats: Roll oats give a nice bite to the cookies. Quick oats or steel-cut oats will not work for this recipe.
- Flour: Regular all-purpose flour forms the base of the batter.
- Egg yolk: to give richness to the cookies and bind all the ingredients.
- Melted butter: Bringing melted butter to room temperature before using it helps in making the dough lighter and the cookies rise when baked.
- Light brown sugar and white granulated sugar: More brown sugar is used to hold moisture and make the cookie denser and softer while giving the characteristic brown color. White sugar helps in sweetening it up.
- Pumpkin Spice: Get a good quality pumpkin spice but a homemade blend would be the best. Fresh spices have maximum flavor.
- Cinnamon: extra cinnamon gives a warmth and that fall flavor to the cookies.
- Salt: to balance all the flavors.
- Dark Chocolate chips: provide that bitter-sweet gooey chocolate taste and texture.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies: Step-by-Step Instruction
- Preheat oven: Start by preheating the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Reduce Pumpkin Puree: Measure pumpkin puree. Use a nonstick pan (less messy) to cook down the puree. 1 cup of puree weighs around 230–250 grams. Once reduced, it should be around 120–130 grams. While cooking, keep scraping the bottom of the pan to get as much puree as possible from it. Let it cool completely.
- Mix dry ingredients together: In a small bowl, add flour, oats, pumpkin spice, ground cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix well.
- Mixing wet ingredients: In another big mixing bowl, add cooled-down melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Use a hand-held whisk or hand whisk to mix everything well. Add egg yolk, vanilla extract, and reduced pumpkin puree. Whisk well until there are no big lumps of pumpkin puree.
- Incorporate Dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in two batches. Use a spatula to mix gently. While adding the last batch of the dry mixture, also throw in the chocolate chip.
- Scoop and bake: Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out the dough. Place it in a cookie tray, 2-3 inches apart. With the back of the spatula, slightly flatten the dough balls. Bake it in a preheated oven until the edges have settled and have turned golden brown.
- Cool: Remove them from the oven and let them cool. Remember, they will continue to set while cooling down.
Let the cookies cool down on the baking tray for 10 minutes before shifting to a cooling rack.
Tips to get the best texture and taste
- Reduce moisture in the puree – You can get canned pumpkin puree or a homemade one. If it feels watery, you need to reduce the puree on a hot pan. Less moisture makes for a dense texture.
- Butter at room temperature – Let the melted butter sit for an hour on the counter to come to room temperature. It helps in trapping the air and lets the cookies rise making them lighter.
- Mix ingredients – While mixing the wet and dry ingredients, do not overmix them. Whisk gently until just combined.
- Pumpkin spice – Pumpkin spice is available in stores. It is a simple enough spice blend that can be easily made at home with the freshest spices that give maximum flavor. Adjust the quantity as per your taste.
- Place the balls apart – While placing the dough balls on the oven tray, keep a distance of at least 2 inches between them. You will need to lightly press and spread them so that the cookies bake evenly.
- Watch the baking time. Watch the cookies in the oven. When the edges turn golden brown, have a look and remove them. Cookies will be soft in the middle when you remove them from the oven to cool and settle down in time.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
Store these pumpkin oatmeal cookies in an airtight container after they are completely cooled down. You can keep the cookies for up to 3 days in warm weather or up to a week in colder weather.
These cookies reheat really well. So you can freeze the cookies for up to 2 months in zip-lock bags.
More Fall Recipes
Pumpkin Sweet Potato Soup – Another fall favorite soup that is done in an Instant Pot
Cashew Pumpkin Butter – A nut-based butter made more delicious and indulgent with pumpkin puree and spices.
15 Minutes Baileys Pumpkin Mousse – A perfect fall dessert with pumpkin spice, creamy mascarpone, and an added twist of Baileys.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup – comforting, creamy, and smooth soup with pumpkin and oodles of cream.
Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta – A cozy pasta with roasted butternut squash and crunchy parmesan crumbs has all the fall flavors.
Fall Roasted Sweet Potato Salad – Fall produce is tossed in a sweet, tangy, and spicy salad dressing and topped with feta cheese.
Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
- ¾ cup Flour
- 1 cup Rolled Oats
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 heaping cup Dark Chocolate chips
- 1 stick + 2 tablespoon Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ⅓ cup Light brown sugar
- ¼ cup White granulated sugar
- 1 Egg yolk
- 1 cup Pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C)
- In a nonstick pan add pumpkin puree. Cook the puree on low heat until almost all the moisture has evaporated( around 8-10 mins). At the end, the total weight of the puree should be 115 gms-120 gms. It should be really thick. (ref note 1).
- Cool down the pumpkin puree completely.
- In a bowl mix flour, oats, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl add melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Whisk it well.
- Add vanilla extract, egg yolk, and pumpkin puree. Whisk it well.
- Fold in the dry mixture and chocolate chip. Use a spatula to mix everything.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough into balls (about 2 heaping Tbsp of dough each) and place 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the balls with the back of the spatula.
- Bake it for 14-15 mins. Check once at 12 minutes, if the cookies have browned and the edges look firm and settled remove the tray.
- Let the cookies rest on the tray for 10 minutes, for the cookies to settle. Then place it on a wired rack to cool completely.