[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

Someone noticed recently that I make a lot of "cakey" cookies. At first I was adamant that they were exaggerating, accusing me of choosing favorites among my children cookies. Then I realized it's kind of true. It's not that I don't like crisp, chewy, or crunchy cookies, but soft cookies are comforting in a way that little else is. (Or maybe I'm trying to get my cake and eat my cookies too?).

Obviously I felt the gauntlet was thrown and next week I will present you with a decidedly not cakey cookie, but I had to share one last recipe because it is my favorite autumnal cookie by far.

They're not the prettiest: even with a cookie scoop and careful plating, you'll end up with pudgy orange rounds. That's intentional—I think that pumpkin cookies shouldn't come in any other mode than soft and fat. Pumpkin is often paired with chocolate chips, and those cookies are great. But these go in the opposite direction, getting a burst of flavor from orange zest and dried cranberries. Their flavor, for a pumpkin cookie, is surprisingly bright, and the whole treat feels light (careful, you can eat a half dozen in as many minutes.) To make the cookies really take advantage of fall flavors, I add nutmeg with a hint of cinnamon. Why is nutmeg in the driver's seat? It adds spice without that distinctive, occasionally overwhelming, cinnamon taste.

Some may have their pumpkin spice lattes or their candy corn. For me, fall means these cookies and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Get the Recipe

Pumpkin Orange Cranberry Cookies »

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios


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