Fresh Baked Friday: Pumpkin Cookies

Nothing says fall like pumpkin. I love eating pumpkin bread, having a warm mug of pumpkin spice coffee, and of course, carving pumpkins to bring me into the spirit of autumn. Pumpkin and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg create a comforting taste and scent that I look forward to all year long. Though the days are getting shorter, anything pumpkin flavored shines a bright light on my day.

Not only do they taste good, but pumpkins also offer some great health benefits. They’re packed with fiber and vitamin A, and they’re low in calories. I’ve used pumpkin as an oil substitute in recipes before (healthy chocolate brownies, anyone?) but this time, the flavors and colors of pumpkin take center stage.

These cookies are fluffy, moist and cake-like. You’ll find yourself going back for seconds of these delicious pumpkin treats.

Pumpkin Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 can pumpkin puree
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer or in another large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar and oil with a beater or whisk. Gradually add in canned pumpkin and mix until combined.
  4. Add egg and vanilla to pumpkin mixture and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add flour mixture to pumpkin a bit at a time and completely combine.
  6. Drop rounded scoops of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet using a cookie scoop or a spoon.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean.
  8. Let cool on a wire rack before decorating (optional).

As you can see from the pictures, I decided to prepare my cookies two different ways. You can either top them with cinnamon cream cheese frosting (recipe below) or dip them in melted dark chocolate for two very tasty variations. The cookies are delicious without any toppings, too, so it’s up to you how you prepare them!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 oz package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

  1. Combine cream cheese and butter in a large bowl and mix with a beater until creamy.
  2. Add confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, until you reach your desired sweetness. You may want more or less sugar, depending on your preference.
  3. Mix in cinnamon, vanilla and salt and beat until fluffy and fully combined.
  4. Pipe onto cooled cookies using a pastry bag or a sandwich bag with the corner cut off.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin?

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