Pumpkin Delights Cookies

Growing up, I didn’t fall for Twinkies and Ho-Hos.
I didn’t pine for Oreos or Chips Ahoy.
I didn’t even like most Girl Scout Cookies.

Nope, I had to wait for my packaged sugar bomb of choice. I had to wait for September so that I could buy the greatest confection the processed food industry ever came up with. I needed to consume mass quantities of Pumpkin Delights!

How could you not love these soft pumpkin spice cookies with their sweet pumpkin jelly peeking out of the jack o’lantern eyes? I mean, just look at it! Don’t you want to eat an entire box?

Pumpkin DelightNo, seriously. I ate an entire box. Several times. Because I had disordered eating and they’re specifically manufactured with addictive chemicals to make you crave them fort-nightly.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t still fondly think of their deliciousness. So, with the official arrival of Autumn (International Pumpkin Season for us food bloggers) I wanted to try to recreate these childhood favorites.

Pumpkin Delights from PaleoParentsNot knowing where to even start with the dough, we used the Not-A-Grain Bars from Against All Grain as our original inspiration. Although you’ll see, we got a little adventurous with our adaptation. These cookies will give you that autumnal pumpkin flavor without the plastic, sugar or wheat. Not only that, but we also have nut-free instructions!

Pumpkin Delights Collage on PaleoParents*note: Cole is 8. Photobombing is the most hilarious thing ever, evidently.

As you can see, this can be a fun family project. Honestly all 3 of our kids were begging to help in the kitchen. They loved rolling the dough, using the cookie cutters, spooning the fruit butters and especially, making jack o’lantern faces! All of it. Even the hunt to find the ingredients was exciting for them, since we used something new. I can’t remember the last time the boys were this excited about a recipe we were working on!

Pumpkin Delights Collage by PaleoParents*note, testing this recipe took a few tries… hence, the wardrobe changes and the kitten helping us

And probably one of the best selling features of this cookie is all the things NOT in it! There is only 1/4 cup of honey to sweeten the whole thing. With only a 1/2 tablespoon of juice sweetened fruit butter, the overall sugar count is remarkably low for a cookie your kids will love to eat – ours are thrilled to have a cookie they can take to school!

School? Oh, yes! Because we’ve ensured this cookie can be made nut-free! We have included instructions to replace the almond flour, making them a nut-free treat as well!

Pumpkin Delights by PaleoParents

Pumpkin Delights Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 sandwich cookies with a bit of dough left over for fun

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a high speed blender or coffee grinder, grind pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds on high until they are a fine powder. We measure the seeds, not the resulting flour!
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together the almond flour, if using, coconut flour, tapioca flour, the ground seeds, spices, baking soda and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the pumpkin puree, honey, oil and the eggs until incorporated.
  4. Pour in the dry ingredients slowly while mixing. Continue to mix until a thick dough forms.
  5. Divide the dough in half and flatten. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least twenty minutes.
  6. Remove one dough disk and roll out on a tapioca floured surface. Cookies should be about 1/4" thick.
  7. Using pumpkin shaped cookie cutters, cut out cookies and remove to a lined or greased cookie sheet. If the dough becomes warm, it will be difficult to work with and become sticky. If this happens, return it to the fridge to cool.
  8. Spoon on about 1/2 TBSP of pumpkin or apple butter on top of the cookies. Spread out, leaving 1/8" edge all the way around.
  9. Remove the second disk and roll it out as well to the same thickness. Cut out more pumpkins.
  10. With a knife, cut out fun faces on this second pumpkin, then place on top of the first cookies.
  11. Lightly press the edges together to seal the cookies
  12. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until cookies just begin to brown. Cook time will vary depending on the thickness and size of your cookies.
  13. Store at room temperature only for a day or two, otherwise keep chilled and bring to room temp before serving.

Notes

The family agreed 4:1 that pumpkin butter was the clear flavor winner. But the 1 cough Finian cough who loved the apple butter loved it so much he insisted we still leave it as an option.

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These cookies are involved, true, but trust me: they’re worth it and lots of fun to do with loved ones! They’re everything you actually wanted the Little Debbie snacks to be, but their factory origin would never allow.

It made us so happy to bring the experience of eating a Pumpkin Delight home to our kids! We hope you’ll enjoy this tasty fall treat; share your silly jack o’lantern faces with us! Our boys created jack o’lantern, vampire, pirate vampire, Frankenstein, and werewolf!

Pumpkin Delights on PaleoParents

About Matthew

Matthew McCarry has written 227 post in this blog.

Matt is the husband of Stacy and somehow manages to contribute to this blog in between taking care of three children, producing the Paleo View Podcast and cooking most of the food featured here.

  • Lauren Matheson

    I don’t know the originals so this might be heresy, but what about doing these as a popover type thing and pressing a jack-o-lantern cookie cutter into the tops? That’d make them faster to produce.

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Certainly you could use cookie cutters into the top if you wanted, but we’re happy with creating our own faces for each :)

  • Betsy

    These look awesome! I want to have one NOW!!!

  • Darcie Marie Bales

    Do you think this dough would work using chia or flax as an egg replacer?

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      I think 2 flax eggs could work, you probably won’t be able to manipulate the dough quite as well is all. I’m not a huge fan of flax myself (especially with all the other seeds in this) so maybe try to do date paste instead? All you need here is something to be the binder…

  • Katrina

    These look awesome I am to excited to make them with my daughter. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Lily S.

    I love these mostly because they make me think of pumpkin pasties from Harry Potter :) Haha. Can’t wait to try them!

  • Shannon Baukhages

    I can’t wait to make these!

  • Nichole

    I want to make these for my trip back home to NY in october (I live just outside detroit now and am taking the train 11 hours!) I am going to make a bunch of extra ones to take home to my little 22 month old niece to see if she likes them too! I heard she is a cookie monster and it would be cool to get her hooked on these heathier versions!

  • Abbey

    Could I use a larger amount of almond flour in place of ground pumpkin seeds? Did you happen to measure them after they were ground? TIA!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      I suppose you could. We measured them before they were ground.

  • Michelle Lee

    I just made pumpkin-apple butter that would be perfect for these! I think this recipe calls for a special occasion…first time cookie baking with my two-year-old helper. :)

    • Michelle Lee

      UPDATE: I made these and they were FABULOUS. I’m making them again for a party this weekend. :)

  • Jessica

    I had never heard of Pumkin Delights. These look yummy though!

  • Angela

    To make the dough can you use just almond flour- not coconut or tapioca? I’m not quite understanding direction #2! Thanks!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      you can only replace sunflower seed flour with almond flour, so the intent is to say seed flour or almond flour (if that’s what you’re using). coconut and arrowroot have different texture purposes and almond flour won’t work as a sub.

  • Lilly Q

    This is just too darn cute! I am ready to get the twins and Aidan all messy in the kitchen for this recipe. I can’t wait! Thank you for posting this.

  • Rennie

    Oh my GOSH I can’t wait to make these!! I share your pumpkin delight obsession and am beyond thrilled to FINALLY be able to eat one again! Yes!!!

  • Rennie

    Okay, finally made them! I found the dough easy to work with and even cut out some plain bat shapes. They are tasty, and since I had an apple cookie cutter, I filled apple shaped ones with apple butter. The pumpkin butter was yummy, too, and so cute!

  • Dawnmferguson

    yummmm. ok. I didn’t have a few things and substituted more almond flour for the seed flours- but will try it the way it’s written as soon as I have the pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Also- I didn’t have pumpkin butter- or the time to make some since I am making this on the fly, but a quick concoction of leftover pumpkin puree, coconut butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove- and a tiny touch of honey made a sweet little batch of pumpkin butter. Hope this helps anyone as ingredient lonely as I am tonight. Thanks for the recipe!!!!

    • http://PaleoParents.com Stacy & Matt

      Thanks for the lovely comment. I hope people find that useful!

      • Dawnmferguson

        I did finally make it the way it was written and wow!!! Even better!!

  • Alicia

    I lovvvve these. I just made my own apple butter in the slow cooker to use for them. I make them all the time and let my boys snack on them. Thank you for creating and sharing!!