Pumpkin cookies! There are approximately one million recipes out there. But I’m always on the hunt for a creation that’s macro-friendly and WORTH whipping up. I’ve said it before (but I’ll say it again- you’re welcome)… for the most part I’ve learned that for me, it’s NOT worth it to make protein enriched or “macro-friendly” treats. I prefer to log and plan for treats that involve lots of ice cream 100% of the time that give me that super satisfied dessert feeling, (like this or this). Realizing both of those are essentially the same thing, and that I seem to have an un-natural obsession with Flapjacked…(you’d think I was getting paid for this but I’m not)… but that is how I love to end my day and what makes me feel like I can always stay the course!
Let me just say before macros, I was obsessed with REAL cookies– like these ones or these ones. If you’ve read any of my ramblings you’ll believe me because you know I have an exceptional love of (unhealthy obsession with?) dessert.
Back then it was a GIANT fresh chocolate chip cookie (or two!) with ice-cream every single night. Sometimes baked in a ramekin like a pizookie and sometimes not… but you get it. I never let my stash of big frozen dough balls get depleted and often had three different recipes floating around in there.
I’m like a boy scout.
When I started tracking macros, that was one of the biggest adjustments (tears). I’d scour the internet for weight watchers or macro-friendly recipes for sweets. I tried too many… and mostly found that they were just never that good (more tears.) Or they could be low fat but still just as high or sometimes higher in carbs which was ok if I just had one… but if I’d taken the time to make something and it was sitting there, I could never stop at just one! Before I knew it I’d blown a bunch of macros on some spongey protein concoction.(SO many tears.)
Then of course if it was low carb, it was higher in fat which DEFINITELY wouldn’t work for more than one. Mostly, what I learned is that there isn’t some magic cookie that tastes amazing and fits your macros when you eat ten of them. And blowing your macros on mediocre stuff is a total bummer. So I’m still gonna bake big, delicious, legit cookies, crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle, full of butter and dark brown sugar and chunks of chocolate … and occasionally plan for and log one! Usually on a Sunday.
HOWEVER — (were you wondering when these little macro-friendly pumpkin chip cookies were gonna get some love after all that?)…. sometimes I just want to bake, and grab a cookie off the cooling rack in the afternoon. And not have it make a huge dent. Some days I just want my kids to come home to house that smells like holidays and a plate of something fresh and I want to be a part of the fun. So that’s what these are to me. Not a replacement for my dessert, because the quantity is too important to me and these soft little guys go down too easy. But I can TOTALLY sub them in as my afternoon snack in place of something else.
If you like pumpkin, it’s the perfect way to create a low fat cookie since pumpkin is such a good, light filler. Of course these aren’t going to be crispy or buttery because they have no butter and I’m not a sorcerer… but they are soft and chocolatey and pumpkiny… not all actually words, but all good things in our house.
Just proof that they passed the kid test. Don’t be distracted by the diaper and yogurt under his eye. Just focus on that smile. What I should be showing you is my six year old who’s obsessed with them. He doesn’t even love legit chocolate chip cookies… usually only brownies. I don’t get him. But he’s obsessed with these low calorie, high protein, pumpkin cookies! I don’t know.
They can be made as cookies or muffins… we tried some in our mini muffin pan with the exact same amount of batter as the cookies. Not sure which I preferred! But how cute are these. I decided three should be the serving size. Since I ate three and that makes me feel better.
Also I really like to get an idea of whether the macros are ACTUALLY much better than normal recipes… it’s all relative and I hate thinking maybe it’s just because the cookie’s small or whatever. Because I can make full buttery delicious cookies small too….AND I can eat too many of a healthy thing and sabotage. But these three muffins, for instance, weighed a total of 81 grams. Just to give you an idea, a G2G bar (my favorite protein bar ever) weighs 70 grams. So that just helps me gage how much FOOD this really is. More than my favorite bar. And the macros for these three muffins (or cookies) would be 20c/4f/8p and 152 calories. The G2G is amazing but it does have 25c/14f/18p… so worth it when I want it and plan for it but nice to have some perspective. My favorite classic REAL chocolate chip cookie’s macros, for 81 grams of dough would be 47c/15f/3p…. I could do this all day. I won’t.
But one more, lots of average bars are somewhere around 20c/8f/20 p and 200 calories. So I’m feeling like for a sweet afternoon snack… these beat out a lot of my sweet fixes and while NO, they are not a “real” cookie…. could totally be a hit for me.
Macro Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup Flapjacked buttermilk pancake mix 106 g (I haven’t subbed in plain flour but you probably could just fine– see notes for macro difference.)
- 1/2 container of Dannon light and fit greek pumpkin yogurt 75 g* (or any flavor– vanilla is great!)
- 1 egg
- 2 tbs sugar
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree 183 g
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2-3 droppers of vanilla stevia I did three but they’re never full. Maybe only half filled
- 1/4 cup 4 tbs chocolate chips (56 g)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350
- If you’re a macro-counter, weigh your bowl before you add anything to it and make a note in your phone so you can subtract it later.
- Now put your bowl on your scale and add each ingredient in (besides the chocolate chips), zero-ing out the scale between each addition. I love not dirtying measuring cups! Mix together with a whisk or even spatula. No kitchen-aid needed for this.
- Now stir in chocolate chips
- Scoop out with 2 tbs cookie scoop so each ball should be around 26-28 g. This made 20 cookies for me.
- If you count macros and want tracking and logging tips keep read…
- When you enter in your recipe in MFP, you could just put 20 servings and try and make 20 even cookies. That’s definitely gonna get you close enough. But when I want to know EXACT numbers.. especially if some of the batter gets nibbled on before etc (what)… I use this method to log my recipe and figure out the servings according to the weight of the pumpkin batter. I want to count every morsel of that batter so my numbers are totally accurate (I’m not always this obsessive…. but sometimes I am.)
- So- when I scoop my cookies I’ll leave my cookie scoop in the batter and zero out the bowl, then scoop and drop on lined cookie sheet and put the scoop back in to see exactly how much batter came out of that bowl and formed that ball… since some sticks to the scoop etc.. I don’t want to get charged for batter I didn’t get! I’m cheap like that.
- Now bake for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool before eating, they’ll be soft.
- If you want to be really precise, you could evenly distribute the chips to the tops of the cookies instead of mixing them in. Just know you might end up with a couple fewer cookies since your scoop will fill up faster without the chips in there.
- If you left the chips out entirely, that would save you almost 1 fat and 2 carbs per cookie. But who wants cookies with no chocolate?
- If you can’t find the pumpkin yogurt, you could probably use vanilla and maybe add another ¼ tsp of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice… and maybe another dropper of stevia.
- I’m making this sound complicated but it took five minutes to stir together!
- You could probably sub in normal all purpose flour for the flapjacked pancake mix. I haven’t tried, but it would only change the macros to 8.5c/1f/1.3p for one 27g cookie.