October means pumpkin mania. Have you been to the grocery store lately? It’s everywhere. Big jack-o-lantern pumpkins, cute little baby pumpkins, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin yogurt, pumpkin bread, pumpkin ravioli…it’s a little out of control. Good thing I like pumpkin.
I came across a jar of pumpkin butter (which doesn’t actually contain any butter, mostly just pumpkin and sugar), which made me think of my major pumpkin fail last year: pumpkin cookies.
What I wanted, what I desperately craved, were wonderfully chewy, slightly crispy pumpkin cookies. What I got were pumpkin muffin tops. Ugh. Remember that? Well, I guess it wasn’t a total loss because I turned them into Pumpkin Toffee Whoopee Pies, but oh, the sting of failure…
This year, I was determined to make up for valuable lost chewy pumpkin cookie enjoyment. And this time around I had my secret weapon, pumpkin butter. Pumpkin butter is key in adding that cozy-warm-fall je ne sais quoi pumpkin-ness, without all that moisture pumpkin puree would add.
Moisture = cakey pumpkin cookies = my nemesis.
You’ll be glad to know that I prevailed. Beautifully chewy cookies full of pumpkin spice goodness and buttery toffee bits were mine. And now they can be yours too.
Victory, sweet victory.
Chewy Pumpkin Toffee Cookies
The chewy pumpkin cookie of your dreams, full of pumpkin spice and buttery toffee bits. Don’t you already feel all warm and cozy and fall-like just thinking about it? (With coaching from How Sweet It Is.)
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: about 32 cookies
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
8 oz (1 1/3 cups) toffee bits
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well. Stir in the pumpkin butter until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the dough comes together (I use my hands to help it along). Fold in the toffee bits and stir to distribute them evenly.
- Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes, then roll into golf ball-sized balls (I use my trusty cookie scoop to get uniformly sized cookies). Place on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet (this is important, otherwise, the melted toffee will stick to the pan) and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until cookies are golden. Let cool completely.
This post was published on KQED’s Bay Area Bites on October 17, 2012.