A can of pumpkin puree sitting in my cupboard, looking for a purpose, led me to another wonderful recipe from Maria and Josh at Two Peas and Their Pod. I was inspired by their Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies to try out my theory on cocoa powder and the result was marvelous. These cookies even won over a friend of mine who normally wouldn’t go near pumpkin!
This is also quite possibly the healthiest sweet recipe I’ve baked, or perhaps the “least unhealthy”. I was able to cut the sugar down to a 1/2 cup without any noticeably adverse effects and I also found on a later batch of these that eliminating the chocolate chips was a fine option as well, cutting the sweetness but not negatively affecting the flavor. The latter’s a strong recommendation down below in “Thoughts”, but I made that batch in a hurry and didn’t stop to take pictures, so you’ll find all of these follow the with-chocolate-chips variety.
With Thanks To: Maria and Josh for the recipe, slightly modified here.
Yield: 3-dozen cookies
Preparation Time: 20-30 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup (55g) coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup (186g) pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.
- Beat together the coconut oil and sugar until well-combined.
- Add the vanilla and pumpkin and continue mixing until well-combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet slowly, about 1/4 cup at a time, blending until just-combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, if using.
- Drop tablespoon-sized amounts of dough onto the lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are crisp and the middles are slightly firm.
- Let cool for 3-5 minutes on the trays and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- On subsequent batches of these from my original attempt to make them chocolate-y, I decided that they’re just as good without the chocolate chips. I can’t decide on one way being better than the other, chocolate chips are so lovely to have in a cookie, but without they are even less unhealthy and the uninterrupted soft texture is a plus. So if you can’t easily get your hands on vegan chocolate chips and you want to keep these cookies vegan, don’t worry, just go without the chips!
There’s a lot of different things going on in this bowl; makes it easier to tell when you’ve got a consistently whisked together batch of dry ingredients.
You don’t start with much for wet ingredients but that’s just because all of the pumpkin will help provide the balance to the flour.
I couldn’t resist an orange action shot of the stand mixer… The end result is a very pumpkin-y slurry to which you’ll slowly add in the dry ingredients.
Once folded together, your dough is ready to hit the trays!
You can easily cram more than 16 on a tray; these cookies hold their original shape quite well.
Once they’ve cooled down you’re at the best part: the moment when you get to eat them!