There are really two kinds of pumpkin cookies: chewy cookies and cakey cookies. It’s not impossible to make crispy pumpkin cookies, but since pumpkin is such a moist ingredient, it makes much more sense – and, usually, a better tasting cookie – to bake it into a form where its moisture will be an asset. Cakey cookies are cookies that are fluffy and tender, like the top of a cupcake. Chewy cookies are a little bit more substantial, with a denser, firmer texture that feel more like a non-pumpkin cookie than a piece of cake. Some people fall firmly into one cookie camp or another, but I enjoy both and like having the option to make one type of cookie or the other. These Low Fat Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are a good choice for chewy pumpkin cookie fans looking for something besides the same old cakey fall cookie.
These cookies are made with a generous dose of pumpkin puree and are flavored with brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and vanilla, which is a great blend of ingredients designed to highlight the flavor of the pumpkin without overpowering it. They are chewy and moist, with a texture that is softer than some cookies (softer than a chewy peanut butter cookie, for instance) but much firmer than most cake-like pumpkin cookies. There are just enough chocolate chips to have a good distribution throughout the cookies, so you clearly taste both pumpkin and chocolate. The cookies are relatively low in fat not because I was specifically looking to make a low fat cookie recipe, but because I was able to maintain the chewiness of the cookie without having to add a lot of additional fat to the recipe.
Although they are lower fat, these cookies keep very well without drying out when they are stored in an airtight container. This means that you can make a big batch and enjoy them for several days after baking. If you are looking for an alternative to chocolate chips, you can easily substitute in chopped, toasted nuts or dried fruit for the chocolate. One combination that I like is to use both chocolate chips and dried cranberries, since both of those flavors go so well with the pumpkin.
Low Fat Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract until very well combined. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, mixing just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in chocolate chips to evenly distribute them.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each cookie to allow for spread.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, until cookies are set and very lightly browned on the edges. Allow cookies to cool for 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 2 dozen.