Pumpkin and Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I’ve come to realize that I like simple desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I love to spend a long afternoon making a cake and frosting for a special occasion. I am pretty much down for any kitchen adventure, but when it comes to desserts, the things I make most often are probably cookies and brownies. And it’s often super simple—we’re talking just one dirty bowl in the process. Maybe some of you are the same?

But just because I like to keep the dishes simple doesn’t mean I don’t love to spice it up with some seasonal or slightly more complex flavors. And that’s what these easy drop cookies are all about. There’s flavorful pumpkin, mixed with a little savory tahini, balanced with a good amount of brown sugar, and all rolled together with dark chocolate chunks. Mmm. This is a good one, friends—you best be baking these this weekend.

Pumpkin and Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies, makes about 2 dozen

1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 heaping tablespoons tahini
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (aluminum-free) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag (about 11.5 ounces) dark chocolate chunks
sea salt for the tops, optional

First, stir together the butter, pumpkin, and sugars until well blended. Then stir in the egg, vanilla extract, and tahini until combined.

Then stir in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Once a soft dough forms, stir in the chocolate chunks. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.

Scoop or drop the dough onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a baking mat. Sprinkle with sea salt if using. Bake in the upper 2/3 of your oven at 350°F for 12 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.

Whatever cookies you don’t consume warm out of the oven (the optimal time to eat cookies, obviously) you can store in an airtight container. Happy baking! xo. Emma

Note: You can use less chocolate if you like, or even skip the chocolate in these. I mention this because my dad really likes pumpkin cookies but prefers them without chocolate. I fundamentally disagree. 😉 BUT these are still really flavorful and cake-like even if you skip the chocolate. Just be aware that it will likely make a few less cookies.

Not sure what to do with the rest of that can of pumpkin you opened for this? Might I recommend Chipotle Pumpkin Enchiladas, Easy Pumpkin Curry, or if you’re still needing a sweet fix, Marbled Pumpkin Brownies.

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the A Color Story desktop actions. My Damn Fine Cup of Coffee mug is from Oui Fresh.

 

4.5 from 2 votes
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Pumpkin and Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tahini
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (aluminum-free) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag (about 11.5 ounces) dark chocolate chunks
  • sea salt for the tops , optional

Instructions

  1. First, stir together the butter, pumpkin, and sugars until well blended. Then stir in the egg, vanilla extract, and tahini until combined.
  2. Then stir in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Once a soft dough forms, stir in the chocolate chunks. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  3. Scoop or drop the dough onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a baking mat. Sprinkle with sea salt if using. Bake in the upper 2/3 of your oven at 350°F for 12 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.

Recipe Notes

You can use less chocolate if you like, or even skip the chocolate in these. I mention this because my dad really likes pumpkin cookies but prefers them without chocolate. I fundamentally disagree. 😉 BUT these are still really flavorful and cake-like even if you skip the chocolate. Just be aware that it will likely make a few less cookies.

  • Pumpkin lends such a fun soft/fluffy texture to cookies! I like the taste as well as the fun texture.

    I love simple recipes too because it probably means my pantry already has the items in stock and I can make them right away. Check and double check, all these ingredients are ready for me to make a batch after work! Thanks, Emma!

  • Tahini?! I was so confused for a minute – my father’s side is Middle Eastern so I was like…the stuff on humus or baba ghanoush? What?! I didn’t know you could use it in baking! Does it add a bit of tang or creaminess? I’m trying to imagine how it tastes with pumpkin. Love to see different kinds of flavors Emma! <3

    http://www.shessobright.com

    • Yes, exactly, the hummus tahini. 🙂 It adds a little tangy / savory to the final dish. But they are still cookies, so they certainly aren’t savory by any means. For anyone apprehensive I bet you could substitute sunflower seed butter or other nut butters that a bit more savory than sweet. Mostly I think it just helps to balance and add a little more complexity so the flavor isn’t just sugar and pumpkin. 🙂

  • These sound so yummy! I would love to try making them, but I’m left with a bit of a mystery: what is pumpkin puree? How do you make it? Or is it something you can buy? Greetings from apparently not very pumpkin-savvy Germany!

    • Yeah, you can’t buy it here but you can make it yourself super easily: You take a hokkaido pumpkin, remove the seeds, cut it in 8 or 16 pieces and cook it for about 20 minutes in boiling water. Drain when soft, keep some of the water, let cool a bit, then puree it (food processor or ….”Stabmixer”?), maybe add a little of water, about 100 ml. There’s a great recipe here at ABM for Sour Cream Pumpkin Muffins for the rest of the pumpkin puree or try pumpkin butter (recipes on line) ;-P Guten Appetit!

  • OOooh…. these look and sound delicious. I might give it a go this weekend… perhaps with peanut butter chips instead of chocolate… Yumminess. Thanks for the inspiration, Emma.

  • Any suggestion how to substitute the pumpkin puree for fresh pumpkin? Pumpkin puree is not something you find where I live, and I personally prefer to use the fresh vegetable anyway. Can I just steam and puree the pumpkin you think or are there other ingredients in your pumpkin puree?

  • These look/sound so yummy!
    Have you experimented w/ alternative flours to make this gluten-free friendly?
    Wondering what would be my best option, and I’m new to the GF world.

  • I made these a couple days ago and they are pretty delicious! A good combination of sweet and a bit of savory with the tahini, so the sweet isn’t overwhelming. This recipe also inspired me to finally buy sea salt flakes, which are awesome.

    Just a tip to other bakers out there – when I made this recipe I ended up having to bake the cookies for about twice the amount of time. I’m not sure if it’s just my oven? But after 12 minutes, they were still totally wet. I think I put them back in for 8 minutes, then another 5 or so. I think it was a total of 25-27 minutes. I was worried they would dry out or burn, but they’re still moist and delicious! Just a heads up that you might need to leave them in for longer 🙂

  • I made these in bar form today an they were amazing! The tahini adds a lovely, rich flavor. I appreciate your creativity so much! I never would have thought to add it to cookies.