If it’s fall, there’s probably a can or two of canned pumpkin puree in your pantry. And it’s probably going to be used in one of two very expected ways: pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread. While we love a slice of custardy, lightly spiced pie or pecan-studded quick bread, we found another delicious (and just as easy) way to use canned pumpkin from the Southern Living recipe archives. This reader recipe for Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cookies, from Kathy Stanger of Morgantown, West Virginia, is going to become your crowd’s favorite new fall treat. Canned pumpkin gives classic chocolate chip cookies a tender texture and depth of flavor as rich as its color. Because pumpkin pairs so well with warm, autumnal spices, Stanger added a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the recipe. You could also substitute a teaspoon of ground pumpkin pie spice, which typically includes nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, for even more fall flavor. This recipe calls for shortening, which will make the pumpkin cookies soft and cake-like. If you like your chocolate chip cookies on the crisper side, you can substitute butter for the shortening, but our test kitchen liked the pillowy results with shortening. Best of all, these Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip cookies come together in minutes in a single bowl, and the recipe makes five and a half dozen cookies—perfect for bake sales, class parties, Halloween get-togethers, or just filling the cookie jar. These are too versatile to pass up.
Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg and pumpkin mixing well. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; add to pumpkin mixture. Stir in vanilla, chocolate morsels, and pecans.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350˚ for 13 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.