Pumpkin Caramel Swirl Cookies

with sea salt

My weekend was pretty uneventful, which I am so thankful for. I needed some time to sit on the couch and putz around in the kitchen without having to worry about being anywhere at any specific time. We did, however, see 12 Years a Slave, which was just as incredible as I’m sure you’ve heard it was. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be too artsy or something for my taste. I thought maybe there might be painful Terrance Malik-esque scenes where nobody would talk for 40 minutes and there’d be a long shot of leaves falling off of a tree. I was completely wrong. It was over two hours long, but it definitely didn’t feel like it lasted more than 45 minutes. It was extremely well paced, absolutely heartbreaking, and just all around really well done. I’m not sure if it has a wide release yet, but do your best to seek it out because it is my favorite movie so far this year. Next to Kick-Ass 2, but that’s a totally different, albeit awesome, beast.

Lilly giving the room an ocular pat-down.

Last weekend, we went down to Park Slope to my friend and coworker Sarah’s apartment to meet her husband, Russ, her cat, Lilly, eat crab macaroni and cheese and enjoy the excellent weather on their beautiful roof. I am seriously jealous of their exposed brick, as well as this roof! It reminds me of Serpico’s backyard (in the movie, obviously). After a few beers, and full from crab, green beans, cheese and sticky buns, we waddled over to Kings County Distillery to meet with a group to tour the entire distillery. It’s small, but they are amping up production and doing a great job of making high quality bourbon right here in Brooklyn. We had a few tastes, enjoyed the beautiful premises, then headed back to Williamsburg where we inevitably ended up at Burnside for drinks and French fries. As you do.


A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the lovely Hannah at Fat Toad Farm. They said that they were fans of the blog and wanted to use one of my recipes on their company’s own website. Of course, I said! Then they offered to send me a jar of their caramel. Please, I said! Let me say, this caramel rules. I love being able to support small, locally owned and operated businesses – especially if they are able to create a product as delicious as this stuff. It is goat’s milk caramel, or cajeta, and it is a almost like a silkier dulce de leche. I knew immediately that I wanted to make something with the crazy amount of pumpkin I’ve been hoarding since the start of the season, but I didn’t want to do a bar or brownie, which is usually my go-to for a quick pumpkin treat. I landed on these cookies, particularly because they let the caramel shine. You can use cajeta, like I did, a jar of ice cream topping, which there is nothing wrong with at all, or even make your own dulce de leche, which I did in a post from a few years ago here. I brought these into my office today and I hope that they go over as well as I think that they will! Pumpkin, caramel, and salt all together in a cookie that people will probably eat for breakfast? Who wouldn’t want that?

All classy brunches include a cheese course, right?

Sarah’s green bean salad with shallot vinaigrette.



Rooftop brunching with crab mac and cheese.

Check out that view!


This is Lilly, Queen of the Castle.



After we were stuffed full of foods, we headed over to Kings County Distillery for a quick guided tour and a little tasting.





So: cookie time. Get your batter together.

Then grab your caramel. I was sent a jar from Fat Toad Farm, which is a small family-owned goat farm with an adorable logo.

This is my scientific, accurate way of pouring the caramel into the batter.

Take and top with a little sea salt, if you like.

So pretty.

Enjoy immediately, or keep at room temperature lightly covered for up to 3 days.


Pumpkin Caramel Swirl Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 50-60 cookies

Soft pumpkin cookies with a caramel swirl and sea salt.
  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (14 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup caramel ice cream topping or dulce de leche
  • sea salt, for sprinkling

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper (or grease them with non-stick spray). I do recommend parchment paper, though – it is the world’s gift to baking.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together your sugar and butter until well combined, about 1 minute. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined, then add in the pumpkin and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda (I know it seems like a lot – trust me), cinnamon and salt. Add it to the pumpkin mixture, a bit at a time, until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure everything is even, then pour in half of your caramel and lightly fold it in. Add in the other half of the caramel and lightly fold it in.
  4. Scoop 1½-tablespoon sized dollops of dough onto your baking sheets, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, and bake for 11-13 minutes, until set but not golden. Allow to cool before removing from the sheets, and continue with the remaining dough. Wait until they are completely cooled and have been out for at least a few hours before storing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


19 Responses

  1. Hannah says:

    Wooo! Sydney, you’re a genius! These cookies look absolutely DELICIOUS. Thanks so much for including us in the Crepes of Wrath experience! Simply mouthwatering. – Hannah, Fat Toad Farm

  2. That cat got swag!
    Such pretty cookies, I have to got to put pumpkin in my cookies now.

  3. […] out Sydney’s other beautiful photos and mouthwatering recipe:  http://crepesofwrath.net/2013/10/21/pumpkin-caramel-swirl-cookies/   or check out the full recipe below.  You can also follow Sydney on twitter […]

  4. Faye says:

    All I have to say is yum, yum, yum!!

  5. Since sea salt and table salt contain the same amount of sodium, why do you use sea salt? Does it taste better?

  6. Sasha says:

    Oh man. That cat. I can’t…

  7. I love the pictures you posted of Lilly! So cute! Also, these cookies look perfect! Cool flavour :)

  8. bashfulbao says:

    Fat Toad Farm caramel sauce is the best! What a great way to use it!! Also, that cat is boss. Love her facial expressions.

  9. Colleen says:

    Such a beautiful Bengal! I have one myself, and they are so full of personality. Can’t wait to try out this recipe, and perhaps some of the caramel. It really sounds amazing!

  10. Vanja says:

    they look so tasty! could i make them with fresh pumpkin as well if i would bake it until it is soft first?

    • Marie M. says:

      I LOVE cooking with fresh pumpkin. Make sure to puree and then strain through a double layer of cheesecloth before adding it in place of canned pumpkin to get the right moisture level. (Also, any squash especially butternut is delicious in baked goods!)

  11. huntfortheverybest says:

    they look yummy!

  12. I don’t know what I want more….the cookies or that kitty!

  13. I want one of these cookies! I’ve also always wanted to try that caramel. Maybe Fat Toad Farm will send me some :)

  14. Lynna says:

    I`ll definitely keep that movie in mind once it comes out this week!

    But, these cookies, sound marvelous! I never tried cajeta before, but I love caramel, so this recipe sounds like a win. :)

  15. I made these yesterday and they are F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C. Wish i would’ve added more caramel though….

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