Photo: Philip Friedman; Styling: Colleen Riley
Hands-On Time
20 Mins
Total Time
45 Mins
Makes 36

There’s a lot to chew on here: molasses and pumpkin puree make these cookies super moist and soft, while chopped walnuts and dates add textural interest. A couple quick notes to make your job a little easier. Ever chopped dates and noticed that they tend to stick together in a big clump to your chef’s knife? Try wiping your knife with a bit of oil before you start and your job will become magically easier. A small cookie scoop, though not necessary, will make your job faster when it comes to dropping mounds of dough on baking sheets.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat oven to 350º F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Step 2

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the molasses and pumpkin puree.

Step 3

Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry and wet ingredients alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing well between additions. Mix until just combined. Fold in the walnuts and dates.

Step 4

Drop mounds of the dough (about 1½ tablespoon each) 1 inch apart onto the baking sheets. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar, dividing evenly. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway though, until firm around the edges, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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