Autumn is the perfect time for pumpkins, spices, and soft chewy cookies. In fact, it’s the perfect time to combine all 3 together into the perfect trifecta! These cookies bring all of the quintessential autumn smells and flavors into one glorious cookie. And the best part is that these chewy pumpkin spice molasses cookies are super easy to make.
What Makes a Cookie Chewy?
Through developing many cookie recipes, learning what makes a cookie soft, chewy, crisp, firm, etc. is important. How can you create the right cookie texture if you don’t know what ingredients make a difference?
To make a cookie chewy, there are a few ingredients that make a difference. First, brown sugar is a major component of most chewy cookies. Because brown sugar contains molasses, it gives the sugar and cookie a softer and chewier texture. Granulated sugar, however, causes a cookie to spread more and makes it crispier if the cookie has a high sugar content.
Molasses also makes cookies chewier. If you do not wish to add brown sugar, you can still add molasses and get some of that nice chewiness.
Cornstarch is also a great choice for making cookies softer and chewier. Have you ever put cornstarch in water, stirred it, and then watched it slowly spread out? Think about how cornstarch feels when you stir it with a little water.
It gives some resistance but is still somehow super soft. Adding a teaspoon or two to cookie dough can be a great way to add that chewy and soft texture. For this recipe, we have enough chewiness without cornstarch, but I often use it in other cookies.
Tips for Making Chewy Pumpkin Spice Molasses Cookies
- Melt and brown the butter. Melted butter allows the cookies to spread more when they bakes. Using cold butter causes the cookie to stay tighter, which is okay for some cookies. But we want this cookie to spread out properly.
- Canned pumpkin works great for this recipe. Honestly, I never make pumpkin puree from scratch because what we buy at the store is just as good in my humble opinion. Only make something homemade if it makes a difference. We want to bake smarter, not harder!
- Are your spices fresh or expired? It’s surprising how long spices can sit without being touched. We often reach for them not even realizing that they have passed expiration. Toss the old and get fresh spices if your cinnamon, ginger, allspice, or cloves are in past due!
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or over night. This gives the moist ingredients time to absorb all of the dry, resulting in a more tender and chewier cookie.
What is Brown Butter?
Brown butter is butter that has been melted and cooked long enough to brown the milk fat solids. When the fat solids brown, they develop an aromatic nutty smell and flavor that really deepens the flavor of any dessert or dish.
There is some debate over whether or not to use the actual brown bits in the butter. One school of thought is the strain the butter so that a light nutty flavor remains. The second school of thought it to add the brown bits into a dessert so that there is more nutty flavor.
The only word of caution for using the brown bits is that sometimes the bits can burn. If any of the bits are burned, do not add them to the dessert. It would be better to strain out the fat solids and to have a slightly lighter flavor than to have a burnt flavor.Print
- 1 cup butter, melted and browned
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 Tbs canned pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 Tbs molasses
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar(for coating cookies)
- 2 tsp cinnamon(for coating cookies)
- Melt butter in a small pot and gently whisk occasionally. Watch for the butter to start turning brown on the bottom of the pot, and whisk continuously as it browns. Remove from heat once it smells nutty and there are some brown bits in the bottom of the pan.
- Pour into a bowl and let cool for 20 minutes. In a large bowl, stir browned butter, brown sugar, and sugar together until smooth.
- Stir in egg, vanilla, and molasses, and then stir in pumpkin puree.
- Add all dry ingredients and stir until dough comes together.
- Scoop cookies with heaping tablespoons of cookie dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Combine 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a bowl and roll the balls of cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar right before baking.
- Bake at 350 on parchment lined half sheets for 9-11 minutes
- Cookies are done when they look slightly dry on top but still somewhat moist in the cracks.
- Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Eat warm or cool, and store in a container for up to a week.
This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.
Keywords: chewy pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin spice cookie recipe, pumpkin cookies