The blend of spices that is used in pumpkin pie spice includes cinnamon, ginger and cloves. It is a staple for almost all pumpkin baked goods, including pumpkin pies, and shows up in a wide variety of other fall goodies, as well. Fall was definitely around long before pumpkin pie spice was, however pumpkin pie spice is always a sign of the season as far as I’m concerned. I’ve seen lots of pumpkin pie spice products on store shelves this season, and started to get inspired to look for new ways to put those spices to good use. One product I tasted combined peanut butter and pumpkin pie spice, and that was enough to put Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Cookies on my to-bake list.
These cookies have a great blend of peanut butter and spice to them. Cinnamon, ginger and cloves all go very well with peanut butter, bringing out some of the sweeter notes in the nut butter, rather than the savory ones. It makes the cookies seem a bit more satisfying to eat on a chilly afternoon – but no less addictive, since that salty-sweet peanut butter will keep you coming back for seconds! The cookies are slightly chewy, with a hint of crispness around the edge when they are fresh from the oven. Be sure not to overbake these cookies, as they will dry out and become a bit crisp if you bake them for too long. That said, if you prefer a crisper cookie to a chewier one, simply extend the baking time until the cookies are a light golden brown before taking them out of the oven.
The cookies keep very well when stored in an airtight container, and will last for several days after baking. This recipe doesn’t make a huge batch of cookies, but it can easily be doubled if you need a few dozen more cookies for fall events and entertaining.
Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (pref. national brand, such as Jif)
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice mixture and peanut butter. Gradually blend in dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined.
Shake dough into 1-inch balls and arrange onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2-inches between balls to allow room for spread. Dip a fork in water and gently press the prongs into the tops of the cookies to mark them with a # sign.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, until cookies are set around the edges but not quite browned. Do not overbake. Cool cookies on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes approx 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
*If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can make your own with my recipe!