Pumpkin cookies can be low carb, soft, and chewy! They are my favorite fall dessert treat. Years ago, in the pre-low carb days, we used to buy a box of orange-icing pumpkin cookies at the local market. They were so good that the taste is one of those tastes that you can remember for a life time. It also seemed they were featured around Halloween. Well, it is Halloween and it is time to make a low-carb version!
Cookies are one of those things that Joanie and I do not agree upon. She likes cookies that are more sugary, thinner, and crisper. Her favorites were the traditional icebox cookies that she grew up enjoying. For my taste, it has to be cookies that are thick, chewy, and soft in the middle. My cookie favorites are more like a mini-cake in consistency.
My problem is that I am not a baker. Joanie has that kitchen talent and she guided me through this recipe. However, this one was a kitchen experiment for Halloween. We decided to adapt a pumpkin cheesecake recipe that I used to make many years ago and make Pumpkin Cookies! To make the orange icing for the cookies we used our almond frosting recipe from our Low Carb Almond Cheese Danish and substituted orange extract for the almond.
We used cream cheese, sour cream, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice in our pumpkin cheesecake recipe and these are the main ingredients for the cookies. The butter and almond flour are essential to make a cake or cookie batter and we used baking powder and eggs as the leavening agents. We used almond flour rather than coconut, perhaps a blend would also hold the moisture needed to make the cookies soft. A little cinnamon goes perfectly with pumpkin desserts and we always use vanilla extract in virtually everything we bake.
The key ingredient in our basic pumpkin cookie recipe is the orange extract. We really recommend using Nielsen Massey Orange Extract – it is simply the best! You can order it from Amazon by clicking the product link below.
The icing will also have orange extract. The blend of the pumpkin flavor with the orange is perfect together. There are an abundance of low-carb pumpkin cookies on the Internet, but we really like our soft and chewy version.
Parchment paper, of course, we do not want our cookies to stick. We did use a hand mixer to blend our wet ingredients until smoothed, but you could also mix these by hand. For the pumpkin puree we recommend Libby’s 100% pure canned pumpkin – it is the best. Do not use pumpkin pie filling. It has too much liquid and will just make a mess of your cookies.
The orange extract adds an orange flavoring to the cookie as well as the icing. You may wish to increase the amount of pumpkin pie spice if you desire a more pumpkin flavor to your cookies.
Our batter seemed a bit thin so we did place the batter in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before dropping onto the baking pan. This allowed for a firmer batter as the butter and cream cheese thickened. This proved to be an excellent idea (thanks Joanie) since we wanted a large spoonful of batter piled high on our baking sheet. The higher the cookie the thicker and softer the inside.
Allow the finished cookies to cool on a cooling rack before handling so they will maintain their firmness. We also let the icing harden in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before eating.
Happy Halloween – Get ready for the big day – Decorate with ghosts and pumpkins, and give our Pumpkin Cookies a try and let us know what you think! They are definitely soft and chewy and Tasty Low Carb!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Blend cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until smooth. Add the sour cream, pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla extract, and orange extract and blend until combined.
- Combine the almond flour, erythritol, pumpkin pie spice, and baking powder, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix well. Drop soup spoonfuls of batter onto the cookie sheet. Recipe should make 12 thick cookies.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned on top. Cool and serve or add icing. Once you ice the cookies you should place them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes until the icing hardens.
- Mix powdered sweetener (Sukrin Melis) with cream cheese in a small bowl. Add orange extract and stir. Add heavy cream and stir again until smooth. To enhance the orange color and flavor use some orange water enhancer.
- Use a pastry spatula or piping tool to cover the top of each cookie.