These Chewy Pumpkin Molasses Cookies are my new favorite fall dessert! The pumpkin and molasses combine with warm spices for the perfect soft and chewy cookie.
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Are you sick of pumpkin recipes yet? Please say no!
I know the blog has been a bit quiet the past couple weeks. Real life, alas, has interfered with our regularly scheduled programming. Hopefully you have been able to get your fill of tasty treats through some other means. But now we’re back! And because it’s (still) the season (I hope), we have a stock of festive food to share with y’all. Starting with these chewy pumpkin molasses cookies, which may be my new favorite cookie. And we make a lot of cookies…Rocky Mountain Chocolate Chip, Sadelle’s Oatmeal Raisin, Mini M&M Peanut Butter…so you know “favorite” is a strong word. But with all the delicious fall flavors packed into this one chewy mouthful, I think it’s true!
I started this recipe with a classic molasses cookie base. I LOVE the soft, chewy texture of molasses cookies, and I’ve also noticed that pumpkin cookies, while they have a delicious flavor, also tend to be a bit…cakey. Something about the pumpkin doesn’t always translate into a nice chew. And we are allllllll about the chew. So a molasses cookie recipe seemed like a good place to start. Not to mention, molasses + pumpkin + cinnamon spice = heaven. FALL HEAVEN PEOPLE.
So I did a little testing and a little tweaking and a little tasting. Okay a lot of tasting. I swapped out some of the liquids in the molasses cookie base for some pumpkin puree, adjusted the spices, played with the sugars, and voila! Somehow the stars aligned, and the result was a truly chewy pumpkin molasses cookie. The pumpkin flavor shines through without being overwhelming, and molasses makes the perfect partner, adding a richer taste than a cookie sweetened only with sugar. Of course, I did have to roll them in sugar for a little extra holiday sparkle. This step isn’t necessary…but it kinda is.
Now, here’s my advice for your own perfect cookies: be sure to do all the chilling that the recipe calls for. Yes, all of it. The pumpkin molasses cookies spread as they bake, and to make sure they don’t turn into little crispy puddles, you must chill them thoroughly – overnight is best – before you cook them. Chilling gives them enough structure that they spread slowly and bake into chewy little circles of perfection.
In fact, when you put the chilled balls of dough on the cookie sheet, they may look TOO tall, and you may worry about them settling down. I tried pressing down on them slightly before baking, and I tried baking them as perfect spheres. Both methods had a similar texture, although I think the tops were prettier on the non-pressed version. In the end, I say don’t press down on them unless you’re having trouble with them rolling around on your cookie sheet.
Convinced that chewy pumpkin molasses cookies could be YOUR new fall favorite? Let me know if you give them a try! (And if you’re over the pumpkin recipes, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.)
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup of granulated sugar
- In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat butter, sugar, pumpkin puree, and molasses until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
- Cover dough and refrigerate until very cold - preferably overnight, but at least for a few hours. It will be hard.
- When the dough has chilled, scoop out about 1½ tablespoons at a time, and roll into round balls of dough. Place the balls back in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
- While the balls are chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
- When you're ready to bake, pour ½ cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Take the dough balls one at a time and roll in the sugar. Place the dough balls on the cookie sheets, leaving at least three inches between each cookie. They will spread while baking.
- Bake cookies until edges are set and starting to brown, but cookies are still soft. Total time will depend on your oven, but they should take around 7 - 10 minutes.
- Let cookies cool for about five minutes on the cookie sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Need some cookies, but not in the mood for pumpkin? Try some Rocky Mountain Chocolate Chip Cookies instead:
Or maybe a Mini M&M Peanut Butter Cookie. These are the perfect size for snacking!