Fall ushers in the season of pumpkin-spiced everything, and what better way to embrace this than with a batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies topped with a light and tasty Maple Cream Cheese Frosting? This dessert perfectly marries the earthy tones of pumpkin with the richness of chocolate, topped off with a frosting that adds a tangy yet sweet finish.

Why Use Canned Pumpkin in Cookies?

Canned pumpkin is a convenient and consistent way to infuse cookies with a moist, tender texture and a mild, sweet pumpkin flavor. It acts as a binder, much like eggs, and adds to the overall structure of the cookie.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with maple cream cheese frosting on plates

Can the Dough be Made in Advance?

Absolutely. You can prepare the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 48 hours. Chilling the dough solidifies the fat in the cookies, leading to a firmer, less spreadable dough, resulting in thicker cookies.

Why Brown the Butter for the Frosting?

Browning the butter for the frosting creates a nutty, caramelized flavor that complements the tanginess of the cream cheese and the sweetness of the maple. It adds depth and richness to the frosting. It’s really a must! It takes a bit more time, but it’s oh so worth it.

Are Mini Chocolate Chips Essential?

While you can use regular-sized chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips distribute more evenly in the dough, ensuring every bite has an adequate amount of chocolate. Because you work hard and you deserve a perfect bite each and every time! They also balance well with the texture and flavor of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with maple cream cheese frosting on plates

What is in Pumpkin Maple Cookies?

Unsalted butter

It is always important to use unsalted butter when baking. If you use salted butter, you have no way of knowing how much salt you are adding to your dough and it will result in an over salted treat.

Butter adds fats to your dough which helps with moistness, flavor & texture. Butter melts at body temperature, which creates a ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation.

When baking with butter the temperature is important. If the butter is too warm your cookies will melt down too fast and spread too much in the oven leaving you with a greasy, flat cookie. If butter is too cold it will have the opposite problem and not melt down enough, leaving your cookies too thick.

Brown sugar

Brown sugar is granulated sugar with a little molasses mixed in. Molasses is a more bitter natural sweetener which actually makes the sugar a bit sweeter than plain granulated sugar. Brown sugar draws more moister into your treat and is more acidic, that means it will help make baking soda react.

Granulated sugar

Adds sweetness, provides a caramelized flavor and crisp texture. Sugar assists with rising when creamed with butter & sugar. It helps add moisture to your cookie and helps it evenly spread as it melts into a liquid in the heat of the oven. Sugar also helps with naturally preserving your baked treat.

Eggs

Adds both protein (egg whites) and fat (egg yolks). The egg whites help with rising because when foamed, little air pockets get trapped inside the mixture. The water content in egg whites encourages steam while baking which helps with gluten formation, resulting in nice and thick cookies. Egg yolks have emulsifying properties that bring batters together and help your dough from collapsing.

Vanilla extract

When using pure vanilla extract, it will add the deep rich flavor everybody wants in a treat.

Canned pumpkin

Provides moisture and a subtle pumpkin flavor without overwhelming the cookies.

All-purpose flour

Flour builds structure as it absorbs liquids and expands. All-purpose flour falls in the middle of bread flour (high in gluten) and cake flour (low in gluten). It is exactly what it is named, all-purpose, the most universal flour that can be used in most baked goods. 

Baking powder

Puffs up your batter instead of spreading it out. Baking powder contains a little bit of baking soda, an acid & cornstarch. Because of this it only needs a liquid to react and it is double reacting. It reacts as soon as it’s mixed with moisture and then again when it is heated up.

Baking soda

Elevates the pH level of your batter. It increases the spread in cookies and gives the crispy outside, soft inside texture everyone loves. Baking soda needs both an acid and a liquid to react. Things that will make baking soda react are: vinegar, fruit juice, molasses, brown sugar, tartar, buttermilk, sour cream. Baking soda only reacts once, right when its mixed into your batter it will create little air bubbles all throughout your treat. When the air bubbles get heated up in the oven, they expand.

Fine sea salt

Enhances flavor, adds balance, masks any bitter flavors. Salt is the most powerful and oldest preservative. Always make sure to use fine sea salt so that it melts down at the right speed in the heat of the oven. If you use larger granule salt it will not melt down fully when baked and will leave salt crystals throughout your cookie, making it crunch like you dropped it into sand.

Cinnamon

A seasoning that adds a nice spice to your cookies

Mini chocolate chips

Is a form of dark chocolate. Chocolate chips are not pure chocolate, they are typically made up of cocoa, sugar, emulsifier and vanilla.

Browned butter

Browning butter adds a nutty, rich flavor to your frosting.

Cream cheese

The base of the frosting, it adds a creamy, tangy note that pairs wonderfully with the maple and pumpkin flavors.

Powdered sugar

Powdered sugar is just finely ground granulated sugar. It dissolves easily, ensuring a smooth texture without grittiness. It also stabilizes & thickens the frosting, thanks to its small amount of cornstarch.

Chemistry in the Kitchen

The interaction of baking soda and the acidic components in brown sugar and molasses creates carbon dioxide, helping the cookies rise and become fluffy. Additionally, the proteins in the egg bind the ingredients, giving structure to the cookies.

How do you brown butter?

Once you understand the visual and audible queues, browning butter will be a stress-free experience. First, you put the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Once the butter is fully melted, it will start to boil, making popping sounds. After boiling for a minute the butter will foam up quite a bit, but you can still hear the popping sounds. At this point, you want to stay close and listen to your butter, as soon as the popping noises stop, take the butter off of the heat. You cannot tell through all the yellow foam, but your butter has brown flecks all throughout it. As it cools you will see it, but even before you see it, you can smell a delicious nutty scent. Make sure to fully cool your brown butter before baking with it. If it is not cool, it will melt the sugar granules and screw up the texture of your frosting or baked treat.

How Does Maple Syrup Enhance the Frosting?

Maple syrup in the frosting adds a unique, autumnal (is that even a word?) sweetness that’s not too overpowering. It works in harmony with the browned butter and cream cheese to create a frosting that’s sweet, rich, and with a hint of maple goodness.

Equipment Essentials

A good quality standing mixer makes the process smoother, though a hand mixer can be used. A light metal cookie sheet is ideal for even baking, and parchment paper prevents sticking and ensures easy removal of the cookies

Serving Suggestions and Storage

These cookies are best served at room temperature, where the frosting is soft but not runny. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to a week.

You May Also Like These Recipes

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
The only way to make a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie even more amazing is by adding a sweet & tangy frosting on top like this maple and cream cheese one.

Ingredients 

Cookie

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Frosting

  • 1 cup browned butter
  • 8 ounce cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a standing mixer combine butter and sugars
  • Mix on medium high for 2 minutes until lighter in color and texture
  • Stir in the eggs and vanilla until combined
  • Add pumpkin to the mixture and stir until incorporated
  • In a separate bowl, stir together flour, powder, soda, salt & cinnamon
  • Turn standing mixer on low and slowly pour in the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough comes together, be sure to not over mix
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Scoop cookie dough onto a light metal cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Bake for 12 minutes, or until no longer shiny & fully cooked
  • Let cookies cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing

Frosting

  • In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, place the butter
  • Melt the butter and continue simmering until the butter stops making any popping sounds
  • Cool the butter for 30 minutes
  • In a standing mixer, put the butter & cream cheese in. Mix until combined
  • Add powdered sugar and vanilla, whip until fluffy and fully combined
  • Spread on top of the cooled cookies

Nutrition

Calories: 390kcal Carbohydrates: 50g Protein: 3g Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 13g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 58mg Sodium: 214mg Potassium: 73mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 38g Vitamin A: 3010IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 44mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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