Make us your home page

Taste test: pumpkin cookies

Pumpkin itself isn't really the flavor we crave in our cookies — it's the pumpkin spices that have us longing for fall. We like the warm cinnamon overtones along with the hints of allspice. The trick to good seasonal cookies is to get just the right balance of spice and sugar. This week, our judges sampled four different pumpkin-themed cookies with those flavors in mind.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

ProductPepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Milanos Oreo Pumpkin Spice Cremes The Fresh Market Pumpkin Gingersnaps Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix

"These look like the typical Milano cookie but with a fine orange stripe," said one judge who was surprised she liked the flavor so much. "The pumpkin pie spices meld nicely with the chocolate," she said. Another judge said he was not a fan of pumpkin in cookies, but he thought these sandwich cookies would be perfect with a hot cup of coffee. "They are really fresh tasting," said another panelist. Judges allowed that they were suffering from Oreo fatigue with this seasonal cookie, but they didn't hate the blond, orange-filled option. "They aren't bad, I just think there are better cookies out there," said one panelist. "The filling looks a little like kitchen grout." Another said she liked these because she likes Oreos. "They taste the same as all Oreos," she said. "These are 'limited edition' cookies and they should have limited them to one edition," added another judge. Gingersnaps usually have plenty of flavor on their own, so judges were wary of the added pumpkin flavor. But, they were pleased with the size, color, smell, texture and taste. "Turns out, the pumpkin and ginger are a natural pair and these are a hit," said one taster. "I would make mini ice cream sandwiches with these filled with pumpkin pie ice cream," she said. "They are light, crispy and have the precise amount of ginger-sugar ratio," said another panelist. One judge liked the spicy smell of the cookies, saying they were "very fall-ish."We baked these cookies according to package directions and frosted some with Betty Crocker's canned cream cheese frosting. Judges said the cookies were delicious either way. "I love them because they aren't too spicy," said one taster. "They have a nice pumpkin color and flavor," said another. "These would be a good choice at the Christmas cookie exchange party," said a judge who said she likely would serve half of them plain and half of them frosted. "They are super, super sweet," she said. Another agreed, saying, "My eyes are vibrating from the sugar."

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.None of the four judges said yes.All four judges said yes. All four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.98 for a 7-ounce bag from Walmart.$2.98 for a 10.7-ounce package from Walmart.$5.99 for a 10-ounce container. $1.98 for a 1-pound pouch of mix from Walmart.

Panelists: Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; Wayne Conery, retired restaurant manager; Kimberly Schroeder, retired nurse and guest taster; and Janet Keeler, assistant professor of journalism at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Serving sizeTwo cookiesTwo cookiesFive cookiesTwo cookies
Fat/Fiber7g / 0g7g / 0g6g / 0g1g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium10g / 40mg12g / 80mg10g / 240mg11g / 120mg
Carbs/Protein16g / 1g20g / 0g20g / 1g22g / 1g

Taste test: pumpkin cookies 10/24/16 [Last modified: Monday, October 24, 2016 10:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 24


    Zac Brown Band: The country, folk and Southern rockers embark on the "Welcome Home" tour in support of the album. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $27.50-$77.50. (813) 740-2446.

    Handout photo of the Zac Brown Band, performing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on 9/24/17. Credit: Shore Fire Media
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 23


    Smithsonian Museum Day Live: Museums across the nation partner with the Smithsonian to offer free admission for one day. Among them are Florida Holocaust Museum, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.Cracker Country in Tampa, Ringling Museum of Art. Note: Dalí Museum is free for Pinellas County …

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  3. Tampa Repertory's 'Flying' soars in some places, sputters in others


    TAMPA — Tampa Repertory Theatre has always insisted on putting on plays that mean something. Several shows over the last couple of years have zeroed in on the social and cultural baggage that comes with being female (The Children's Hour, Silent Sky and Grounded come to mind). None of those …

    The Southeastern premiere of Flying, Sheila Cowley's play at Tampa Repertory Theatre about veterans of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, includes (from left) Holly Marie Weber, Rosemary Orlando, and Becca McCoy. Photo by Megan Lamasney.
  4. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]