Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband

Ryan’s Pumpkin Cookies

2 WWPP Posted by 3 years ago 6 Comments

“Mom, can you call these Ryan’s Pumpkin Cookies?”

That’s a quote from The 9-year-Old on Sunday while licking the batter of his new favorite cookies.

9 year old licking cookie batter

Much to The Husband’s dismay I’ve been reducing store-bought snack foods over time. The kids have noticed too but they are more opt to simply choose one of my healthy option whereas The Husband will actually make a store run just to pick up something to munch on. That’s fine with with me, as long as it’s not in stock and the kids don’t have access to it.

I’ve learned that the kids will pretty much eat any snack that’s accessible. That’s why I always keep a variety of nuts and fruit available, but with the holidays coming I thought it would be nice to have some festive home-baked goodness in the cookie jar.

So I took a shot at a pumpkin cookie idea I had and then refined it Sunday before sharing it with you.

The first time I made them the 9-Year-Old couldn’t keep his fingers out of the batter.

Pumpkin cookie batter tasting

I took that as a good sign.

This was his reaction after they were baked.

Pumpkin Cookies Thumbs Up!

He LOVES them and so does The 3-Year-Old.  Frankly, I’m surprised, they aren’t the most amazing cookies I’ve ever had. The batter has a great flavor but they come out more soft and cake-like than a gooey chocolate chip or crunchy sugar cookie. That was my intention as I’m using the smallest amount of butter possible. I’m just surprised the kids like them so much. I actually had to cut them off yesterday or they would have eaten the whole batch easily.

I tried to keep the ingredients super simple and even though my goal is to always use the full can of pumpkin, I would have had to make too many to do that.

Pumpkin Cookie Ingredients

So I do that dreaded half cup of pumpkin thing. If you are unsure what to do with the leftover pumpkin you can always freeze it for these amazing smoothies or use it for lots of other recipes.

Ryan's Pumpkin CookiesHere’s what I did…

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (180g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 stick of butter at room temperature (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar in the Raw (regular would be fine, this is just what I has in stock)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (120g)

Optional Sugar Topping

  • 1 tsp Sugar in the Raw
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and pull out all the ingredients. As you use an ingredient put it away. That’s a little trick my mom taught me so the kitchen doesn’t look like a bomb went off when you’re done.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice and salt and set aside.

Pumpkin Cookies - Dry Ingredients

In case you are wondering, I was reading about cornstarch and how it makes cookies more tender. That’s why I used it in the recipe considering I’m using 100 percent whole wheat flour — it seemed like a good idea.

In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on high for a good 3-4 minutes. If you have a standing mixer, by all means use it. I don’t and frankly I don’t want one. I have no desire for more overhead in my kitchen. I’m a low-tech kind of girl. 

Add the egg and continue beating.

Add egg to the pumpkin cookie batter

Another 2 minutes on high should do it. The batter should be nice and creamy.

Pumpkin Cookie Batter after egg

Beat in the pumpkin and vanilla.

Add pumpkin to the batter.

Once the pumpkin is mixed in slowly beat in the flour mixture. I add about 1/4 at a time.

slowly add the flour to the pumpkin batter.

Stop beating as soon as all the flour is incorporated.

Finished Pumpkin Cookie Batter

Dollop batter on a prepared cookie sheet by the tablespoon. These won’t spread too much so they can be close but you should pat them down a bit.  I decided to do this with a little sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on the top to help it from sticking to my fingers. Plus, with only 1/2 cup of sugar in the cookies these aren’t overly sweet (on purpose) so the little bit of sugar on the outside helps trick the kids’ taste buds.

I’m sneaky like that.

Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping and sprinkle a small pinch on top of each cookie flattening slightly.

Pumpkin Cookies on Sheet

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Finished Pumpkin Cookies

Let cool and fill your favorite cookie jar!

Pumpkin Cookies in the Cookie Jar

With keeping batter tasting to a minimum we made exactly 48 small cookies. I don’t know about you but I’d rather make small cookies so I can eat more. It’s like a mind trick. If I make large cookies I still eat tons, so at least when they are small I’m saving myself some calories.

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
16  3 cookies
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
95 3g 1g old: 2 new: 2
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
7g og 14g 2g

See other recipes using: butter, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, whole wheat flour

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There are 6 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.


    November 4, 2014

    I saw your post about these this weekend and have been waiting for the recipe, as I can't wait to try them! Thank you for sharing! Do you notice any differences between baking with white whole wheat flour vs. regular ole whole wheat flour?


      November 4, 2014

      I do but really, for recipes like this you should be fine. You aren't trying to bake the most perfect, delicate cookie for some french bistro. You are trying to make a homemade fun snack for yourself or your kids. I'd totally try these with regular 100% whole wheat if that's what I had. I just tend to only by the white whole wheat and use it for everything anymore as it is closer to the bleached white stuff.


      November 6, 2014

      Thanks! I ended up in a huge hurry and just dumped the ingredients in and mixed, and while my cookies aren't nearly as pretty as yours are, they taste great! This is a keeper!


    November 4, 2014

    Great recipe! I subbed coconut oil for butter because my daughter is allergic to dairy. My only question... When you measured, did you measure out a teaspoon or tablespoon? I could only get ~45 cookies when I measured each cookie at approximately a teaspoon.


      November 5, 2014

      Oh I'm so happy to know coconut oil works! I actually use a tablespoon but not a measuring cup one, just a "soup spoon" and load the batter on the tip and plop down. I just don't know how to articulate that in the recipe. That being said they were still approximates a traditional tablespoon in size. The coconut oil may have contributed or even how long you beat in the sugar. The whole point in doing that is to aerate and it does increase the volume. That's why I give approximate times too. When you beat the egg in you can actually see the batter getting fluffier. Hope that helps!


    November 4, 2014

    thank you for sharing the recipe- I've been waiting for this one too!! Hope my kiddo will enjoy them as much as yours do & I'm so with you on less store bought snacks- so much better for everyone!!