Thursday, October 9

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cranberries, Raisins, and Pecans

pumpkin spice cookies with cranberries and pecans

When you grow up in Rhode Island, you just can't comprehend 90 degree temperatures in October. While San Diego enjoys nearly perfect 70 degree weather year round, its hottest days are often in October, when dry desert air blows westward and bakes us like cookies in a convection oven.

No, no, no. October should be pumpkins, apples, and 60 degree days with a crisp breeze and clear blue skies set against brilliant orange, yellow, and red trees.

I decided to take the weather into my own hands. I cranked up the AC to 61 degrees, turned on the oven, and made Pumpkin Spice Cookies. Once the smell of pumpkins hit my frigidly cold condo, it was instant New England here in SoCal.

That is, until I went to shoot the pics on my deck and searing hot, dry air hit me in the face (thankfully I was wearing a tank top under my fleece). When I finished, I came back inside my frosty air-conditioned room, lit a Macintosh Apple scented Yankee Candle, and enjoyed a cookie with a cup of Chai tea.

No matter what your weather is, I'd suggest baking a batch of these big, soft, cakey cookies. Each bite is laced with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg and studded with cranberries, raisins, and pecans, which is exactly what October should taste like.

pumpkin spice cookies with cranberriesa and pecans

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cranberries, Raisins, and Pecans
Makes 24 cookies
Print recipe only here.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped lightly toasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars, then beat in the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin until smooth. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; add to the pumpkin mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in the cranberries, raisins, and pecans.

Drop 2 tablespoons of cookie dough 2 inches apart (as they will spread) on the parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 minutes.

To store cookies, layer between pieces of waxed paper (to prevent sticking) and place in an air-tight container.

You might also like these autumnal baked goods:

Tuscan Torte di Mele (Apple Cake)

Banana Coconut Almond Bread

Persimmon and Date Bread

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Jersey Girl Cooks said...

What wonderful fall cookies! I love the fall.

Finla said...

The way you explained how these cookies taste is making me really want to bake them.

RecipeGirl said...

It sure has been brutal, hasn't it? I think people forget that it's so hot here in Oct.

What a great way to celebrate New England, and cranking up the AC and baking away is exactly what I've been doing too. It's funny how much we long for a simple, cloudy day around here!

janelle said...

Love the 'this is what OCT should taste like.' The same thing was running through my head when I was making mushroom soup!

Happy Oct!

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

Okay, you got me with this one, Susan. I'm an absolute lover of pumpkin pie, but a skeptic when it comes to any other use of pumpkin. But these sound great. If for no other reason, I'll have to make them for my Starbucks-pumpkin-latte-loving daughter. And man, everyone who sings the praises of San Diego's perfect weather [which is basically everyone] never mentions the October heat wave. Sorry, Susan—hope it cools off soon for you.

Deborah said...

It's finally cooling down here in Utah - but even if it was still hot, these would make it feel like fall!

The Italian Dish said...

I can relate! When we lived in Chapel HIll, NC for my husband's residency, it would be 75 degrees at Christmas! I turned on the A/C and built a nice Christmas fire anyway! I'm putting your cookie recipe in my cookie file. They look great.

Anonymous said...

The leaves here in Colorado are changing as I type. Seriously, I can see it happening. Well, that might be an exaggeration, but all the sudden, it's definitely crisp, cool, and fall like around here. We're supposed to get snow this weekend, so your pumpkin cookies sound wonderful! Of course, as always, I'll have to do my gluten-free tweaking, but I think I can manage this recipe quite easily. Yum, I can almost smell them baking! Perfect weather here for autumn cookies.

Ivy said...

What's not to like about these cookies. They have all my favourite ingredients in them.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Back in your home territory of Rhode Island, the orchards are overflowing with pumpkins, apples, and all manner of winter squash. We're wearing sweaters and socks, and raking leaves. You're right -- I cannot comprehend 90 degrees in October.

Karen said...

Sounds yummy!

Rita said...

Nice cookies! However, I would happily trade weathers with you... Want some of Seattle's famous "liquid sunshine"??

Heather said...

mmm cranberries and raisins! yum! that stinks about the weather, although i guess in the dead of winter, i'll be jealous! i do love those crisp fall days. these cookies look perfect :)

Debbie said...

The cookies look delicious. I love fall desserts and treats!

Anonymous said...

These cookies sound excellent! I love fall for all the great pumpkin spice dishes and drinks that are available! I definitely will be trying these this weekend.

Elle said...

These should be wonderful with some hot tea or apple cider! Great recipe Susan!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

They look wonderful! What an awesome combination of ingredients!



Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Thaese look really tempting, Susan.
We use a lot of pumpkin in our cooking, but somehow its never in anything sweet.
I've always been hesitant to try something sweet with pumpkin, but maybe I should start with these.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

You always seem to know what I want to eat before I do. These sound awesome and might be just the answer for the batch of pumpkin puree I just prepared. Also, I know just what you mean about the seasons. It should be cool and crisp right now, but no such thing in Fl. That's not stopping me from playing pretend and going on a pumpkin/squash binge, but still, it feels very wrong.

Michelle said...

I have to say that today in Boston is your exact description of a perfect fall day, and your cookies look delicious!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Pumpkin cookies! That is something I have never tried. Send some over, Susan, please?? ;)

Anonymous said...

I love anything with pumpkin so these cookies sound amazing to me!

Stacey Snacks said...

You are scaring me.
It's too early to start your cookie posts!
I remember last holiday season, all those amazing cookies!
It's going to be hard to beat this year!

Jenna said...

I'm here in So. Cal too, and it's been WAY too hot! I bake very similar cookies to this, only I also frost them with cream cheese frosting. THAT is a treat! Thanks for making me remember what fall should feel like!

I don't think I've ever commented before, but your blog is a work of art.

Anonymous said...

Today was the perfect October day you described- 60 degrees, a stiff breeze, clear blue sky and lots of reds, golds and yellows. I love the sound of the leaves blowing, and the scent of them that lingers.

And these cookies!!! I love pumpkin cookies!!!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Us cold weather people will be envying you when the windchill factor is 30 below, and we attempt to fire up the grill, Burrrr!!!

Anonymous said...

The real scent of a northeastern Fall comes from the fallen grapes and apples that ferment on the ground, eh? I'd like to see you recreate that in your apartment! haha
Yummy cookies, Susan!
Maryann xox

Deeba PAB said...

I love it when I see something like cookies on your blog Susan...brings out the kid in me. The weather is still very warm here too; there was a time when we wore our woolies in October. Now we're still cranking up the AC! These cookies are just have to wait for someone to can pumpkins here!!

Lori Lynn said...

That weather bit is cute Susan. I just installed A/C in my home a couple years ago, and it is the best investment I've made, and I thank myself every time those Santa Anas come.

Love the cookies, I'm excited about Fall cooking ingredients.

We Are Not Martha said...

Mmmm, I love that these have black pepper in them! I totally agree about the weather...tomorrow Boston is going to be 70 degrees, which I think is pretty crazy!


Andrea said...

Those look great. We're having the perfect fall weather here in NYC, right now the temp is in the 70's which is just cool enough not to be hot, and just hot enough not to be cold. I never wish for cold, knowing how much I'll hate it when it actually gets here. Maybe I should save these for some frigid day just to cheer myself up!

Anonymous said...

hard to imagine a 90 degree october. I wouldn't mind if summer stretched out a bit into november.

Loving the spiced nutty and fruity cookies.. Mmm

Anonymous said...

From one New Englander to another, I feel your pain. Although, north of San Francisco we are enjoying splendidly cool, clear and windy days and I'm loving it. The cookie recipe will add the finishing touch to my seasonal bliss.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

lisa-I do too.

happy cook-I hope you do!

lori-Brutal, indeed.

janelle-Gee, thanks so much!

terry-Yeah, they don't want people to know the truth! ;) Hope your daughter likes these!

deborah-I think so too.

marie-It is hot in NC too; that's for sure! I hope you try the cookies!

gffg-I'd love to experience Colorado in the fall. I think it's such a beautiful place.

ivy-Me too!

lydia-I know!



heather-Yeah, we do have bragging rights in the winter.

debbie-I'm so glad!

justin-Let me know how they turn out!

elle-They would be!

rosa-Glad you like them!

aparna-You should! They're not overly sweet, so it might be a good start.

mike-That's such a sweet thing to say. Seriously. Florida is hot, hot, hot all the time.

michelle-I wish I were there!

patricia-Sure thing. :)

hilary-Thank you so much!

stacey-It's not a XMAS cookie post yet! Pretty soon though. :)

jenna- Mmm... cream cheese frosting sounds decadent. That is a truly kind comment. Thank you.

kate-Now, you're making me all nostalgic again. :)

marie-That's true. ;)

maryann-I think I'll skip that! ;)

deeba-Is that global warming? You don't have canned pumpkins in India? I had no idea.

lori lynn- Seriously.

wanm-The black pepper adds a nice kick. :)

andrea-That sounds like a plan!

jude-Spices and nuts are ideal together.

lynda-"seasonal bliss" I love that.

Jaime said...

i should have replaced the walnuts in my pumpkin cookies with craisins! i will have to try that next time :)

Nemmie said...

Lovely! We've had a hot October too, makes me sad (usually this is when it starts to get crisp and awesome outside).

Your pumpkin spice cookies rock. They look much better than my cheater cookies :)

ExpatChef said...

Bless you! I LOVE pumpkin cookies. :)

LyB said...

Well, today is October 22nd (I am way behind on commenting...) and it's cold, dark and rainy. These cookies would definitely make my day a little warmer! :)

The Fearless Fowler said...

I made these cookies last week, and they were wonderful. It was a cool (but not too cool) night in St. Louis when I made them, so I kept going outside just to come in to my warm house that smelled of pumpkin and spices. It was great!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

jaime-I love craisins.

nemmie-Oh, thanks!

expatchef-You're welcome!

lyb-They really would! :)

adventuremeg-Yay! I'm so happy to hear it. Thanks for letting me know. :)

Jeanne said...

As I said in a previous comment - anything pumpkin pie spice-flavoured gets my vote. Throw in cranberries and I'm yours for ever! These sound and look fantastic - already boommarked :)