Recipe Review

Tired of Cakey Pumpkin Cookies? Try This Recipe for Soft, Chewy Cookies.

published Sep 21, 2021
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Credit: Antonia DeBianchi

I’ve made a lot of Broma Bakery’s recipes. From her peppermint chocolate cake to her cardamom oatmeal cookies, they’ve all far exceeded my high expectations. So when I came upon this pumpkin cookie recipe on Instagram, I knew I had to test it out. 

The idea of using maple extract for the dough intrigued me — I’ve never baked with it before. For some reason, I thought it might be too artificial and overpowering. Spoiler alert: I was wrong. Here’s what happened when I baked my first autumn recipe of the season. 

How to Make Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Salted Maple Icing

This recipe is super easy to make; you don’t need an electric mixer and you combine everything together in one bowl. You start by whisking together melted butter, pumpkin purée, and brown sugar. Next, add in vanilla and maple extract along with one egg yolk and whisk. Traditional pumpkin cookies tend to be more cakey when you add an entire egg, so including just a yolk helps achieves a chewy result. Then, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and mix using a rubber spatula until combined. 

After chilling the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, use a one-ounce cookie scoop to form the balls of dough. Bake them for nine to 11 minutes at 350°F until they puff up and are slightly golden on the bottom. Meanwhile, make the salted maple icing. Simply mix powdered sugar, maple syrup, milk, and salt together then frost the cookies once completely cool.    

Credit: Antonia DeBianchi

My Honest Review

I’m a firm believer in using pumpkin as an ingredient in any recipe possible during the fall. It always provides the warmest flavor in any dish. Surprisingly, another ingredient in this recipe dethroned pumpkin as the best warm-and-fuzzy ingredient: maple extract. If you could bottle up one smell to define fall, it would be the cookies’ maple scent wafting from my oven. While I could still taste the pumpkin, the maple extract’s caramelly, butterscotchy flavor was the most prominent and all-around irresistible ingredient. I’m not even the biggest fan of maple, but I will most definitely be keeping a trusty bottle of the extract in my pantry from now on. 

The other highlight of this soft pumpkin cookie recipe is the texture. Unlike most pumpkin cookies that can get too cakey, these are very gooey and very chewy. The melted butter is key to making the cookies live up to their soft name. I’d love to test this recipe with brown butter next time for a more caramelized, nutty flavor profile. 

The only part of this recipe that did not live up to the hype was the salted maple icing. For an already ultra-sweet treat, the powdered sugar-based icing is sugar overload. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, I’d reduce the powdered sugar to your taste. Plus, the cookies are out-of-this-world good without it. 

Credit: Antonia DeBianchi

4 Tips for Making Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Salted Maple Icing

  1. Remove the cookies from the pan and place them on a wire rack. The whole point of this recipe is to yield super-soft, almost-underbaked cookies. Keeping them on the pan after they’re out of the oven will only make them crispier. Transfer to a wire rack to preserve their texture.
  2. Melt the butter completely. In order to get the best soft-and-chewy texture possible, make sure you melt the butter completely. Softened, whipped butter won’t give you that fudgy consistency.     
  3. Wait for the icing to set before eating the cookies. The powdered sugar-based icing is much more flavorful once you let the icing set for about five minutes. The taste is still subtle, so consider adding a drop of maple extract for a boost. 
  4. Don’t skip out on the maple extract. This was hands-down the most enriching part of the recipe. Even though I didn’t originally have it in my pantry, maple extract was very easy to find at my local grocery store. The recipe only calls for a small amount, but the subtle flavor becomes the star of the recipe.