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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies That Are Like Soft, Fluffy Mini Cakes

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Whether you're baking treats for cozy Saturday afternoons, family get togethers, or that next holiday party, we partnered with Ghirardelli to share a few of our favorite back-pocket sweets you can turn to again and again.

"These are basically mini cakes," Merrill Stubbs tells me of her Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, plump little circles of earthy pumpkin, dark chocolate, and warming spices that, texture-wise, are more like a cake than a cookie, and are just right for hunkering down.

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Pillowy soft and pumpkin-filled.
Pillowy soft and pumpkin-filled. Photo by James Ransom

Merrill, our fearless co-founder knows how to do cookies—she did win our holiday cookie truck face-off last year, after all!—and this recipe is pretty hard to mess up.

The prep is pared down because the recipe calls for oil and not butter, making it a simple dump-and-stir operation. Plus, as Merrill explains, "The cookies are essentially impervious to dryness since they're made with both vegetable oil and pumpkin puree." They'll keep in a sealed container in the fridge for at least a week, but also freeze well if you want to get really ahead for an upcoming party (or would just like a sweet snack here and there).

She adds that you​ could make the cookies without the chips, and instead melt the chocolate and dip the baked cookies in it​ for something a bit more dramatic (!).

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Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

And you could even play around with the spices—a pinch of cardamom here, some cayenne there. They're easily riffed on with various combinations.

A word to the wise: If you make your own puree, don't use actual pumpkin, which can be watery; use butternut or kabocha squash, or some other dense winter squash instead. If you're headstrong and still want to use fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned, make sure to drain the squash after you steam it or the cookies will come out way too runny. And feel free to sub in brown sugar—it shouldn't change a thing!

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Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cbfb27ea 071f 4941 9183 30dce4007b50  merrill Merrill Stubbs
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Makes about 3 dozen cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

A just-right baked good depends on high-quality ingredients—and good chocolate's a must. This holiday season, our sweetest secret is Ghirardelli's 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips—what's yours? See all of Ghirardelli's baking chocolate here.

Tags: ghirardelli