Halloween Pumpkin Cookies

Twice as nice as serving a bowl of candy from the drugstore.

If you’re a pumpkin spice fanatic (it’s a judgment free zone) or simply looking for something festive to serve at your Halloween party, you’ll be happy to know that these recipes are the O.G. of pumpkin spice. That’s right, before your lattes, your caramels, your pancakes, and your candles picked up the seasonal aromatics, our collection of pumpkin cookies brilliantly leaned on a store-bought spice mix labeled “pumpkin pie spice,” available in the spice aisle of any supermarket. Some of these recipes ask you to make your own pumpkin spice mixture by combining warm spices like ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Whether they use a proprietary blend or the pre-made stuff, they all pack a ton of familiar fall flavor that tastes anything but artificial. If you’re looking for a decadent chocolate option, try the Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate or the Pumpkin Chocolate Toffee Skillet Cookie. Both recipes make cookies that are crisp around the edges and gooey in the center. Opt for the skillet cookie if you’re hosting a party and want to impress guests; you’ll need access to an oven if you’d like to serve it warm (recommended). The Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and the Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches are great options if you need to impress on the go. Don’t underestimate the need for something sweet and creamy after pumpkin carving or apple picking. And, finally, the Oatmeal and Pie Spice Cookies are the perfect not-too-sweet pick-me-up for anytime of the day, even breakfast with a big cup of coffee. This season carve a few minutes out of your day to whip up a batch or three of these spectacular treats. Your guests will reap—er, harvest—the benefits.


Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Photo by Grace Elkus

If you’re harboring a secret obsession for pumpkin spiced foods, it’s time to come out of the closet. This recipe teaches you how to make a homemade pumpkin spice mix (it’s really just a combination of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice) so you have nothing to be ashamed of. Mix it into a quick homemade batch of sugar cookie dough along with some pumpkin puree and you’ve got the makings of an intensely seasonal fall cookie. Roll the dough out flat, punch them out with a pumpkin cutter, and bake them for just about 10 minutes for tender and chewy results. One of our favorite parts: decorating them with royal icing is almost as fun as carving a real-life jack-o-lantern.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Sugar Cookies


Pumpkin Cookies With Chocolate

Photo by Philip Friedman; Styling: Colleen Riley

These tasty drop cookies feature a fairly unconventional (but delicious) combination of ingredients: chocolate, molasses, pumpkin, dates, and walnuts. Before baking, sprinkle with coarse turbinado sugar for added crunch and sweetness. The cookies come out of the oven crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle, and stay this way days after baking if you stash them in a cookie tin or resealable plastic bag. Tasty with a simple glass of milk, they’d also be delightful with a piping hot mug of chai tea. We won’t tell if you enjoy them at breakfast. Cookies are just like muffins, right?.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Cookies With Chocolate


Pumpkin, Chocolate, and Toffee Skillet Cookie

Photo by Max Kelly

Imagine a giant warm chocolate chip cookie that’s crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. Now add pumpkin flavor, toffee bits, and chopped chocolate. Have we described the cookie of your dreams? Luckily, if you make this recipe, it can become a (very photogenic) reality. Baked in a cast iron skillet (or cake pan if you don’t have one), this dessert turns caramelized and crispy around the edge while it’s baking. We suggest serving it straight from the skillet in big slices, or scooping it out and topping it with vanilla ice cream. Just make sure everyone has their own spoon.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin, Chocolate, and Toffee Skillet Cookie


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Photo by Raymond Hom

Your outing to the apple orchard, pumpkin patch, or fall festival deserves this special take on the classic new England cookie. There are recipes for Whoopie Pies, and then there’s this recipe for delectably airy, pumpkin-infused dessert. Is it a pie? A cookie? A cake? We say that you should be the judge. When you’re whipping them up, just be careful to reach for pumpkin puree, not pumpkin-pie filling for pure pumpkin flavor that’s just sweet enough. The best news is that you can make a big batch and keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a day, or in the freezer for up to one month.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies


Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches

Photo by Beatriz da Costa

Pillowy cookies are held together with frothy sweetened cream cheese filling. We recommend making both components and storing them separately until you’re ready to enjoy them, because the assembled cookies don’t keep for more than a day. Rumors are also flying that the pumpkin cookies are just as delicious on their own without any filling at all. These rumors aren’t off base: feel free to snack on them while you’re making the filling, or skip it altogether if you choose. We’re imagining them served on the side of a big vanilla ice cream sundae.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches


Oatmeal and Pie-Spice Cookies

Photo by Laurie Frankel

Some fall desserts are so tricked out that they basically scream AUTUMN. But these thin and crispy cookies are much more subtle; sophisticated if you will. In each sweet wafer you’ll detect hints of vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Brilliantly, the recipe calls for you to mix 2 cups of cooked old-fashioned oatmeal into the batter instead of raw oats for a new take on the traditional oatmeal cookie. Once you’ve cooled the cookies completely, you can keep them for up to two weeks. They’re great to have on hand in case you need to serve up something sweet with a cup of tea or coffee.

Get the recipe: Oatmeal and Pie-Spice Cookies