Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

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This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies (Good Coffee Dunkers). Additional note: This recipe has gotten some mixed reviews. It produces a shortbread cookie that is not super sweet at all. I think it’s best used as a biscuit to dunk in coffee and not necessarily for eating one after the other. If you’re looking for something more cookie-like, play with this base recipe and let me know if you come up with something great!

Pumpkin Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 30 to 40 cookies

Prep Time: 25 min + chill time

Cook Time: 20 min


2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground allspice or cloves
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
a few drops of orange food color (completely optional)
additional powdered sugar, to top the cookies (also optional)


1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Mix in flour and salt. Add pumpkin puree, vanilla and spices. Beat until everything is mixed well. The dough may end up to be a bit sticky.

2. Scoop shortbread dough onto a floured surface. Sprinkle a bit more flour on top; split into two portions and gently roll into logs. Place in plastic wrap or parchment paper, wrap and refrigerate for several hours until dough is more firm (can refrigerate overnight).

3. When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat (or spray w/ nonstick spray).

4. Using a non-serrated knife, slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick discs. If you're not getting the shape you want, gently shape edges into a rounded shape with your fingers as you place the cookies on baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned on the edges. Immediately move cookies to a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes, then sift powdered sugar over the tops of the cookies, if desired.


*Don't melt the butter for this recipe. It's really important that's it's just at room temperature and not too soft.
*If you find the dough to be too sticky to work with while rolling, just sprinkle on a little more flour until it's not so sticky.

Source: RecipeGirl.com (Adapted from Adventures in Shaw )

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  • Tresha wrote:

    Excited to make these cookies. I do have one question about the dough, though. Mine was very wet and sticky. It was hard to roll into a log, but I managed with plastic wrap. It is currently in the fridge to chill overnight. How wet was your dough?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Hi Tresha, Since I haven’t made this recipe since 2007, I don’t recall how wet the dough is supposed to be- sorry!

  • dave gonzalez wrote:

    Hi Lori!
    I made these the other day, substituting the spices with just ground coriander, for a more unusual and less sweet cookie, which was just what I wanted. I realize many people would probably prefer the more traditional pumpkin spices, but these were just right. Thanks for posting the recipe that I used for inspiration. Here’s the link to my version:

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Those look wonderful- thank you!

  • Mamaof2 wrote:

    I have to agree with banana. I just made them and they are very bland. I also cooked them for longer then the recommended time and they came out hard on the outside and gewy on the inside.

  • Kristi B wrote:

    I made these with real sugar instead of powdered and they were soooo delicious! I’m not a fan of icky sweet over flavored desserts. These had just the right amount of everything!!! My Fiancé and I had a hard time not eating them all before my company party. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  • Bianca wrote:

    I made these and sweetened them up a bit by making a quick glaze frosting with powdered sugar, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, and milk. They were delish!

  • banana wrote:

    Wow…I hate to say it, but these came out pretty terrible and very, very bland. I would definitely recommend upping the spice content. Kinda bummed I just wasted two sticks of butter making these :n (

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      @banana, Sorry you didn’t care for them. They’re definitely not a very sweet shortbread cookie, more appropriate for coffee dunking.