It has officially dipped below 70 once so I’m kissing Summer goodbye and moving right into pumpkin everything, starting with these healthier pumpkin cookies. Fall is my favorite food season, hands down. Pumpkin and Maple are two of my favorite flavors, and Fall has Thanksgiving, which is basically my (personal) Superbowl.
Though there seems to be some sort of pumpkin famine right now (seriously, I’ve gone to 4 grocery stores and none have canned pumpkin – what’s going on?!), I was able to get my hands on a can of pumpkin to start experimenting. First up for the season are these healthier drop cookies, which are big on flavor (but low on sugar), making them a perfect sweet fall treat that won’t weigh you down.
A lighter cookie
As most of my experiments go – I think of something I really want and then I think of how to make it healthier. Usually, that comes from reducing the amount of sugar and butter, but there’s a fine line. Butter and sugar are both essential stabilizing ingredients that give cookies structure, so you can’t totally do away with them if you still want these to have some cookie-like qualities. Flour is another one – you need it to give cookies structure, but too much flour and you end up with something dry (and not so great for you).
After a bunch of experimenting, I got these cookies to a point where they were still flavorful and sweet, while using the minimum amount of sugar possible to stabilize them and keep them lightly sweet. The addition of chocolate chips makes them sweeter as well.
If you look up recipes for traditional pumpkin cookies, you’re typically looking at 2+ cups of sugar – holy heck. My recipe calls for just 1/3 of a cup for 20 cookies. Less sugar means you can totally eat 3 in a sitting and it’s fine.
Drop it like it’s hot
I made these ‘drop style’ – similar to a biscuit. I just used a cookie scoop to scoop and plop these onto a lined baking sheet, and let them bake as is. They retain their shape for the most part and don’t flatten out much. I did this because the reduced sugar/butter makes these a drier cookie (don’t worry, they’re still soft and delicious), so giving them a drop shape keeps the middle a bit softer. Also, its so easy and doesn’t require any rolling/flattening etc. Ya girl is busy, I know you are too. Quick cookies are the best cookies.
Looking for more cookie inspo?
You’re in luck – I make lots of them! Check out some of my other cookie creations at the links below:
- Salted Brownie Cookies
- Lemon White Chocolate Cake Cookies
- Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pistachio Pudding Cookies
- Gluten Free PB&J Thumbprint Cookies
- Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Drop Cookies
- Mixing Bowls
- Stand Mixer
- Baking Sheet
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temp
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice up to 1 tsp if you love it
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips I used semisweet
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a stand mixer, cream together butter, pumpkin, egg, vanilla until smooth
- Add sugar and mix until it’s totally combined
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice
- Combine dry ingredients into wet and mix until uniform
- Add chocolate chips and mix until just combined
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, until they’re just slightly golden.
- Allow to cool before enjoying.
- Store in an airtight container at room temp for up to 5 days. Enjoy!