*Photos and recipe updated 9/11/2022
These are the BEST pumpkin cookies! They are crispy around the edges, but soft and chewy (not cakey!) in the middle. Most pumpkin cookies are super soft, but these babies are CHEWY. They’re pumpkin, but not overwhelmingly pumpkin. Then they’re loaded with warm fall spices, caramel bits, chocolate, toffee, and pretzels. The texture is EVERYTHING. I know you’re gonna love ’em.
What is a Kitchen Sink Cookie?
Calling a dessert “kitchen sink” comes from the phrase “everything but the kitchen sink.” Meaning that theres lots of mix ins that are usually salty and sweet – things like chocolate, candies, nuts, pretzels, even potato chips like in my Kitchen Sink Cookie Bars.
So basically, these Kitchen Sink Pumpkin Cookies have LOTS of mix ins. There’s pumpkin, fall spices, plenty of chocolate, toffee, caramel bits, and pretzels for that salty bite. These cookies are customizable, too! If you don’t like toffee, sub out some chopped walnuts. Not into pretzels? Mini peanut butter cups would be delicious! All that matters is that you have about 2 1/2 TOTAL cups of mix ins.
How to Make Kitchen Sink Pumpkin Cookies
Brown the Butter.
Browning butter is a super simple way to add even more flavor to your baked goods. Simply add the butter to a medium sauce pan and allow it to melt over medium low heat. I prefer to use a stainless steel or enameled cast iron sauce pan to brown butter. It seems to cook more evenly than nonstick so you won’t end up with burnt bits instead of browned bits.
Once the butter melts, continue to cook it until the milk solids begin to separate from the fat and toast in the bottom of the pan. The butter will first start to bubble and make popping sounds, but then will become quiet and start to foam up and will have a nutty aroma. Swirl the pan around to see the golden browned bit in the bottom. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
*Note that you will lose some weight to the butter during the browning process as the water evaporates. You’ll start with 1 stick or 113g of butter, but once it’s browned you will have 90g. If you have slightly more than 90, remove some until you have 90g. If you don’t have enough, stir in a little extra butter to reach 90g, the hot browned butter will melt it in.
Make the Dough.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the 90g of slightly cooled brown butter, along with the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Cream with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes, or until well combined. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and mix another two minutes, or until light and fluffy as pictured below.
Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and mix until almost combined, with a few streaks of flour remaining. Then, add in all of the mix ins (I save back a little chocolate and a few pretzels to place on top of the cookie dough just before baking) and use a rubber spatula to combine until no streaks of flour remain.
Use a large cookie scoop or standard sized ice cream scoop to portion the dough. With a large cookie scoop you will get 15 cookies, & with the ice cream scoop you will get 13 cookies. Top with the extra chocolate and pretzels and chill for 30 minutes.
Baking the Cookies.
When ready to bake, line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and arrange the cookies so that there is enough room between them so the cookies can spread. 6-8 cookies per sheet is perfect. Bake one cookie sheet at a time at 350 for 11-12 minutes, or until the edges look set, but the middles are still wet.
Remove the cookies from the oven and bang the pan on the counter 2-3 times to help the cookies flatten out a bit. Use a spoon or a small rubber spatula to scoot any runaway edges back in to place. Optional – top with flaky sea salt. Let cookies cool on the hot cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Tips for Perfect Cookies
- Weigh your ingredients. The only way your cookies or any dessert recipe will turn out EXACTLY as you see in the images is if you weigh your ingredients. Kitchen scales are really inexpensive and an added bonus is that there’s no longer 500 measuring cups to wash.
- Cream the butter and sugar for longer than what seems necessary. The longer you beat the butter and sugar, the softer your cookies will end up. You really can’t over-beat in this step.
- Don’t over mix the dry ingredients. This tip isn’t a huge secret. You hear it in a million recipes. But that’s because it’s important. I stop my mixer when there are still flour streaks remaining. Then fold in my add ins (chocolate chips, toffee, pretzels etc.) with a rubber spatula which incorporates those remaining flour streaks. This ensures I never over mix.
- Take the cookies out of the oven early. I almost always “under bake” my cookies. I take them out when they still look dough-y in the center. They will continue to bake if left on the hot cookie sheet outside of the oven. And if you completely bake them in the oven, then let them sit on that hot cookie sheet, they’ll get too done and lose that chewy factor we love soooo much!
Soft and chewy (not cakey!) pumpkin cookies packed with salty/sweet mix ins for the perfect fall treat!
- 1/2 C (113 g) Unsalted Butter (*butter will be 90 g once browned)
- 3/4 C (185 g) Light Brown Sugar
- 3/4 C (170 g) Granulated Sugar
- 1/3 C (100 g) Pumpkin Puree
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 C (200 g) All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Ginger
- 1/2 C Dark Chocolate Chips
- 4oz Semi-Sweet Baking Bar, chopped
- 1/2 C Caramel Bits
- 1/4 C Toffee Bits
- 1/4 C Mini Pretzels
- Brown the butter in a small saucepan and allow to cool slightly
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the melted butter and sugars for 3 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Mix to combine.
- Add the flour mixture, 1/2 and a time, until just combined.
- Fold in the chocolate, toffee and caramel bits. Then fold in the pretzels. (*save back some chocolate and pretzels to press into the top of the cookie dough just before baking)
- Scoop out cookies onto a cookie sheet using a large cookie scoop and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then allow to finish baking on the hot cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to cooling rack.
* When browning butter, some of the water will evaporate causing the weight of the butter to be reduced. Once browned, you should have 90g of browned butter to add to the sugars. Adjust if needed by wither removing some if you have more than 90g or adding a little melted butter if you have less than 90 g.
Keywords: pumpkin cookies, chewy pumpkin cookies, kitchen sink pumpkin cookies, fall cookie recipes
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