I know what you’re thinking: does the world really need another chocolate chip cookie recipe? And I’m here to say absolutely. Because what’s better than having a chocolate chip cookie recipe for every moment and occasion? Some are thick and gooey, others thin and chewy. Some use a mix of milk and dark chocolate and others swear by adding extra flaky salt or walnuts. What makes the best cookie is truly up to your taste and preference—and of course, the season. That’s why today, we’re exploring what I consider the perfect fall treat: pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that are spicy, buttery, and totally delish alongside a cup of hot cider.
Cozy season is here, y’all—and there’s no better way to celebrate than with fuzzy socks, hot beverages, and sweets that warm you from the inside out. Ever since making Sarah Kieffer’s pan-banging chocolate chip cookies, I’ve been obsessed with the extra thin and chewy cookie. And I won’t lie: it’s my absolute preference over a thicker cookie. I love how crisp the edges get as the cookies spread in the oven. The chewy middles with shards and pools of dark chocolate add that rich satisfaction while being balanced out with extra salt. For me, this is the ultimate chocolate chip cookie.
Ingredients for Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Browned Butter. Nothing screams cozy fall baking like browned butter. You’ll notice its nutty flavor, and it adds a delicious dimension of flavor to your baked goods.
Brown and White Sugar. As you may know, both sugars serve different purposes with chocolate chip cookies. Brown sugar helps with chewiness while white sugar adds a crispy texture.
Pumpkin Puree. The pumpkin adds moisture and the slightest sweet flavor while also giving the cookies that extra autumn orange tint. Note: Do NOT use pumpkin pie mix. Make sure you are using only pumpkin.
All-Purpose Flour. I highly recommend measuring with a scale when baking for 100% accuracy. If you don’t have a scale, make sure to fluff up your flour, spoon it into your measuring cup without patting it down, and then scrape off the top to level.
Pumpkin Spice. While this is a chocolate chip cookie, the pumpkin spice shines through in this recipe, adding warmth and spice to the cookies. You can make your own or use store-bought.
Chocolate. For chocolate chip cookies, I prefer using chopped bar chocolate over chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are made with stabilizers which prevent them from spreading or melting as a chocolate bar would. Use good-quality chocolate and chop both ways on the diagonal, both into large chunks and little shards that will spread throughout the entire batter of the cookies.
Salt. I tend to add extra salt when making other baked goods because I prefer desserts that lean slightly on the savory/salty side. Use the salt in the batter and add flaky salt over the top when the cookies come out of the oven. Bonus: It helps bring out the chocolatey flavor.
How to Bake Better Chocolate Chip Cookies
I’ve learned a lot from all the chocolate chip cookie recipes I’ve made over the years. This is how to ensure you’re making the very best batch:
- Salt is your friend. The easiest way to bring out the best in your chocolate chip cookie is to incorporate salt into each layer. Salt the dough and add a little flaky salt under the cookie as well as over the cookie when they come out of the oven. If you love your sweets sweet, go ahead and ignore this advice. But for the best balance of flavor, don’t skimp on the salt.
- Chill the dough. I tested this recipe by baking the dough right away as well as after chilling the dough for an hour. There was a noticeable difference in flavor and texture between the batches, and I liked the chilled version better. Letting the dough rest in the fridge ensures proper hydration of the dough and helps everything meld together. Because this recipe doesn’t use an egg, chilling also helps maintain structure during the bake so that the cookie doesn’t spread too much.
- Don’t overdo the chocolate. I know that sounds like wild advice for a CCC, but especially when chopping from a bar of chocolate, it’s very easy to end up with bites that are basically just chocolate. And while that’s not really a problem—especially for my fellow chocolate lovers—these are cookies. We want to taste the cookie-ness of them in every bite. We also want the warm spices in these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to shine—so exercise a little restraint with the chocolate.
- Tip: To ensure you get aesthetic (and tasty) pools of chocolate on top of each cookie, once you’ve balled up your dough, dip the tops in chopped chocolate pieces.
Chocolate chip cookies will last a week when stored in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can bake a few cookies and freeze the dough for fresh cookies ready at a moment’s notice. Here’s how to make it happen:
Prepare the cookie dough as written. Scoop the dough into balls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Place the cookie sheet into the fridge to chill for at least an hour, the move to the freezer and freeze until the dough is solid. Once the dough is frozen, remove the dough balls from the cookie sheet and place into a Ziplock freezer bag or an airtight container. Frozen dough balls can be stored for up to two months.