Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies
I had been wanting to use honey in cookies for awhile.
I thought it would pair really well with pumpkin pie spice. I was right.
I don’t know if it was just this recipe, or a if it’s my new oven that I’m still getting used to after moving, or if in general adding honey to cookies makes them puffy, but it sure made these cookies puff right up.
I’ll take it. Because despite their puffy status, which can sometimes mean cakey, these aren’t cakey at all.
They’re moist, supremely soft, with hints of chewiness at the edges, and their flavor is pure fall.
I used pumpkin pie spice in them, rather than pumpkin puree. I have a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies which uses pumpkin puree and it was a hard recipe to nail.
In general, baking cookies with pumpkin puree can turn cookies into little pumpkin cakes, unless you’re using a small amount – under 1/4 cup or so. But at that point, you don’t taste it anyway, and all the flavor comes from the spices. Because on it’s own, I think pumpkin puree is bland and gross.
So I skipped the puree and went with pumpkin pie spice for all the flavor, and none of the potential for cakey cookies.
I used 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice, which is a pretty hefty amount, but it flavors the entire batch of cookies very nicely. They’re robustly spiced, without being overdone. If you are more sensitive to spices, you may wish to dial down the amount.
If you can’t find pupmkin pie spice, it’s usually a blend of about 1 part cinnamon, to one-half part allspice, to one-quarter part each of ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
For example, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon each of ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Give or take. It’s all personal preference. Play around with what works for you, and if you already keep those spices on hand, it’s cheaper to DIY than buy pre-made and you can tweak it to your liking.
I added cornstarch to the dough, my workhorse for creating super soft and supple cookies. I’ve used it in at least 15 cookie recipes, including Lofthouse-Style Soft Peanut Butter Chip Sugar Cookies, Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies, M&Ms Cookies, Snickers Cookies, Twix Bar Cookies, Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Smores Cookies. It never disappoints.
The dough must be chilled before baking, no exceptions. It’s a scientific impossibility to take warm dough and have it bake up into thick, puffy cookies. Warm dough is limp and spreads much more while baking. Chill your dough if you want puffy cookies, period.
They’re like puffy little pillows. Lightweight, supremely soft, delicate, and just melt in your mouth.
The intensity of the pumpkin pie spice, with notes of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves shining brightly, give the cookies such great depth of flavor.
The brown sugar helps keeps them soft and adds a richness of caramel-like flavor.
The flavor of the honey is much more subtle, but it’s there if you look for it. And what it seemingly did for the texture, blew my mind, and I plan to experiment more with it.
If you’re a fan of spice cake, pumpkin, brown sugar cookies, soft gingersnaps or soft molasses cookies, add these little pumpkiny puffballs to your list.
Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies
The cookies are moist, supremely soft, with hints of chewiness at the edges, and their flavor is pure fall. The pumpkin pie spice serves to lend a great burst of flavor without being overdone. If you’re more sensitive to spices, dial it down, to taste. Because of the honey in the dough, it’s a soft, limp dough and must be chilled before baking so your cookies bake up thick and puffy. If you’re a pumpkin fan, these easy cookies are an easy way to celebrate fall flavors.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup honey (I used clover from TJs)
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (yes tablespoons, not teaspoons)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, egg, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use a hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes). Do not shortcut the creaming process; make sure dough is very light in color and fluffy, stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the honey, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
- Preheat oven to 350F, line baking sheets with Silpats, or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 9 minutes for soft cookies because they firm up as they cool; bake for 9-10 minutes if you like firmer cookies (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled overnight, allowed to come to room temp for 10 minutes while oven preheated, and were baked for 8 minutes). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
- Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
What do you bake with honey? Have a favorite pumpkin recipe? Links welcome!