Inspired by Katie Cakes version, always tempting me to try her recipes, these Sourdough Pumpkin S’mores Cookies combine all the summer deliciousness of your favourite campfire snack with the tang of sourdough and autumn sweetness of spiced pumpkin. As added benefit, they contain protein powder, making them a great post workout snack. Do you need any more motivation to make these?
Why You Want To Make Them
I love cookies as much as anyone and am eternally tempted by the recipes Katie Cakes posts, as they look utterly delicious. I absolutely love her idea of using my favourite German biscuits, the Chocolate Leibnitz. The original comes from the famous Bahlsen Bakery in my hometown Hanover, so I might be biased, as I basically grew up on them.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the original anywhere near me, but the Lidl version is reasonably close.
If you are in the US, Graham Crackers would be the perfect substitute of course. But top them with a piece of chocolate, to make up for the missing chocolate covering you get included in the Leibnitz biscuits.
The biscuit bottom serves two purposes: It gives these cookies the typical S’Mores feel of crunchy cracker against melty chocolate and gooey marshmallow. And it keeps the melting marshmallow from just running out of the cookies. (Have a wild guess how I know…)
Of course, I was asking myself: What on earth can I contribute to these cookies, that makes them more suitable for a healthy diet? I mean, don’t get me wrong, these are and remain a treat. But what if we add a vegetable, sourdough, molasses, almond butter, a bit of whole wheat, and protein to them?
Turns out there is a whole lot happening!
These cookies gain tang and depth of flavour from the sourdough, which, to me at least, is always welcome. As added benefit, you get to use up some of your sourdough discard and do something to keep your gut bacteria happy, assist with blood sugar management and add nutrition.
The Pumpkin Puree
The gentle sweetness of the pumpkin means, we can reduce the sugar a little. Always good in my book. It also adds some autumn flavour and fibre. I’m also adding Pumpkin spice (A mix of Cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves and nutmeg, for those of you that don’t live in the US) to the cookies, to give them that typical spiced pumpkin taste.
The Whole Wheat Flour
While cookies with white flour are sure lovely, I found I actually prefer the slightly nutty and hearty flavour whole wheat flour adds to any baked good. It goes particularly well with the pumpkin here, as you can probably imagine when you think of pumpkin with, say, pecans. The nuttiness and sweetness play really well together.
The Protein Powder
During my weight loss journey, I discovered that I’m eating way too little protein, as I’m not the biggest fan of meat for many reasons. Neither pulses unfortunately. There is just something about their flouriness (is that a word? Guess I’m just making them up as I go.) that puts me off, except in very few recipes where it just works.
So, what’s a girl to do to add more to her diet, especially if she has a sweet tooth? Add protein powder obviously. Again, with the preferences, I’m not keen on drinking my calories. Which means I have to find ways to add it into my food. And while I’m at it, I found it can actually benefit my recipes in several ways
- Protein Powder can replace up to ¼ of the flour in a recipe. Which means it replaces an ingredient that is mainly empty carbs with something more nutritious
- The sweetener in protein powder means we can reduce the sugar in the recipe. I’m not a fan of cutting out all sugar, as it will have an impact on the flavour, but reducing it means you have less calories and carbs, yet won’t taste the sweetener.
- It can actually add flavour. I’m using my favourite brand “MyProtein” here (neither affiliated nor sponsored. I’d love it to be though!), which comes in many flavours. Among them “Cinnamon Danish”. Needless to say, that goes amazingly well with the pumpkin theme!
- Protein. I mean, it feels a little superfluous to spell it out, but 5-7g of protein per cookie is pretty great.
While it’s just 1 tbsp, the molasses adds a lovely depth of flavour to these Sourdough Pumpkin S’mores Cookies, without being overpowering. Its slight bitter undertones balance the gentle sweetness of the pumpkin and give them that “little something” beyond just sweetness.
The Almond Butter
Since these cookies have a lot, and I mean A Lot! Of butter in them, I felt I could probably replace about half of it with something a little more nutritious. Enter almond butter. It gives us healthy fats, fibre and more protein, which is great. It also adds a gentle nutty flavour, which, as mention above in the whole what flour section, goes great with the pumpkin.
But Sonja, won’t all these changes make them taste…Healthy?
Don’t you worry! I’m as little a fan of sawdust cookies as you are! I made sure to leave enough of the cookie flavour intact, to satisfy even the sweetest tooth. I had friends test them, who enjoy pretty much any super sweet cookie they can find, and they loved them.
Before I calculated the nutrition of them, I honestly thought they might have about 500cal each, as they taste so indulgent! Which is pretty close to the truth for the original recipe, clocking in at around 400cal per cookie. But hey, treats are necessary!
My version comes with just about 270cal per Cookie, giving you the perfect excuse to have two.
Sourdough Pumpkin S’mores Cookies are pretty easy to make, despite the relatively long ingredient list. Not much more to them than chocolate cookies, except the draping of the dough over the biscuit topped with Marshmallow. Which led to cookie dough covered hands for me, giving me all the excuses I needed to eat a fair bit of it. Ahem.
Mix Protein Powder with Liquid Ingredients
One thing that weaves like a thread through most of my recipes with protein is the way I combine the powder with liquids, making sure I have no floury protein lumps in my sweet treats.
This is easiest in something like the Nutribullet, which I’m using here, but you can use a blender, food processor, hand mixer or a whisk and elbow grease.
Whichever way you use: Add the pumpkin puree, egg, molasses, sourdough discard, vanilla and protein powder to a bowl or your mixing device of choice and blend until everything looks ridiculously creamy, orange and tempting.
Cream the butter and sugar
In either your stand mixer or a bowl with your hand mixer, cream the butter, almond butter and 2 types of sugar, until pale and fluffy.
Mix Flour and remaining dry ingredients
In a bowl, mix the 2 flours, baking soda, spices, and salt.
Add the Protein mix and flour mix to the butter sugar mix.
In your stand mixer or bowl, add first the creamy protein mix to the butter-sugar fluff, mixing until creamy and well incorporated. Add the flour and chocolate chips and mix until no dry flour remains. But don’t overmix, to avoid tough cookies.
Rest the dough
I know, waiting is probably the very last thing you want to do after mixing this delicious dough! But trust me on this: Cookies get better when you let them rest. Minimum 1h in the fridge, but best over night lets the flavours develop, the sugar partially re-crystallize, the butter firm up again and the sourdough do it’s thing, to give you all the good gut bacteria and flavour. Don’t worry, they won’t taste sour. They will just have this hint of mysterious something in the background, that will make you want another. And another. And just one more.
Pre-heat your oven to 175°C (350°F).
These are rather big cookies, so make sure you give them plenty of space by spacing them well apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Please the Chocolate Leibnitz biscuits, chocolate side up on your sheet. I had about 6 on each, which worked out nicely.
Place 1 large marshmallow on top of each biscuit. Divide the cooled and rested (you did rest it, yes?) cookie dough into 12 equal sections. Scoop out one section at a time and form it into a rough disc, then place it over the biscuit with the marshmallow, pushing it down the sides gently, making sure no melted marshmallow can escape. Don’t drape it around the biscuit though. We still want the butter Leibnitz to make up the bottom of the cookie.
Optional brown sugar cinnamon sprinkle
This step is optional but highly recommended: Mix 1 tbsp soft brown or demerara sugar with ½ tsp cinnamon and sprinkle over your cookies.
Bake your Sourdough Pumpkin S’mores Cookies
Bake the cookies for about 15-18 minutes, turning the trays once at 8 minutes, as most ovens cook unevenly. Keep a close eye on them towards the end. You want them golden brown, and the marshmallow melted and puffy. Baking them too long will cause the marshmallow to collapse and caramelise, which tastes delicious, but means the gooeyness will be gone and you’ll have a hole in the middle of the cookie. That’s how my first try of these ended. They were still all enjoyed. But looks wise, not exactly the goal.
Let them cool, just a little
I know this is really hard, as they will smell and look utterly delicious at this point. But let them cool for about 15min, so they can firm up a little. Sourdough Pumpkin S’mores Cookies are best enjoyed slightly warm, with the marshmallow still gooey.
I know, calling Sourdough Pumpkin S’mores Cookies a meal might push it a bit, but we all need a snack during the work week, don’t we?
There are several ways to prepare them. Personally I bake them all and just freeze what I won’t eat in the next 3 days. They can be heated in either Air Fryer or oven at 175°C (350°F) for about 7-8 minutes and be even crispier around the edges, which I love.
Or you could microwave them for a minute or so, if you enjoy softer cookies.
You can also freeze the prepared raw cookie on a tray first, then add them to freezer bags once solid and bake them from scratch when you need a treat. This should only add a minute or two to your baking time.
Can I make them without the sourdough?
You can. Just add 2 tbsp white flour and 2 tbsp milk or plant milk to the dough.
What about the Protein Powder, can I leave it out?
You can. Add ½ cup of flour and 2 tbsp brown sugar instead.
What If I don’t want the Pumpkin Puree?
Add 1 egg instead of the Pumpkin Puree and about 1 tbsp brown sugar.
And the Molasses?
You can replace the molasses with 1 tbsp brown sugar.
I can’t find Chocolate Leibnitz!
If you are in the US, replace them with Graham Crackers and piece of your favourite chocolate. Milk or dark, your choice.
In the EU: Lidl and Aldi both have decent versions of Chocolate Leibnitz biscuits.
For more Pumpkin Recipes try my Sourdough Pumpkin Waffles with Protein. The perfect fall breakfast!
Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried the Sourdough Pumpkin S’mores Cookies? Did you enjoy them?
What other recipes would you like to see?
If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.
Sourdough Pumpkin S’mores Cookies
- 125 g 1 stick soft butter
- ½ cup almond butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup protein powder I used MyProtein Cinnamon Danish
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup +2 tbsp plain flour
- ½ fine wholewheat flour
- ¼ cup sourdough discard
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 12 chocolate Leibnitz
- 12 marshmallows
- Optional topping:
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
Mix Protein Powder with Liquid Ingredients:
- Combine pumpkin puree, egg, molasses, sourdough discard, vanilla extract, and protein powder in a blender, food processor, hand mixer, or a bowl. Blend until the mixture is creamy and orange in color, ensuring there are no lumps.
Cream the Butter and Sugar:
- In a stand mixer or a bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the soft butter, almond butter, brown sugar, and caster sugar until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy.
Mix Flour and Remaining Dry Ingredients:
- In a separate bowl, combine plain flour, wholewheat flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and kosher salt.
Add the Protein Mix and Flour Mix to the Butter Sugar Mix:
- In your stand mixer or bowl with the butter-sugar mixture, add the creamy protein mix and blend until well incorporated.
- Gradually add the flour mixture and chocolate chips. Mix until there is no dry flour left. Avoid overmixing to prevent tough cookies.
Rest the Dough:
- Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 1 hour, but it's best to let it rest overnight. This resting period allows the flavours to develop and the dough to firm up.
Preheat Your Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).
- These cookies are quite large, so ensure you space them well apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place the Chocolate Leibnitz biscuits on the baking sheet with the chocolate side facing up. You can place about 6 on each sheet.
- Put one large marshmallow on top of each biscuit.
- Divide the cooled and rested cookie dough into 12 equal sections. Take one section at a time, shape it into a rough disc, and place it over the biscuit with the marshmallow. Gently press it down the sides, ensuring no melted marshmallow can escape. Do not completely drape it around the biscuit; leave the butter Leibnitz to form the bottom of the cookie.
Optional Brown Sugar Cinnamon Sprinkle (Highly Recommended):
- Mix 1 tbsp of soft brown or demerara sugar with ½ tsp of cinnamon and sprinkle this mixture over your cookies.
Bake Your Sourdough Pumpkin S'mores Cookies:
- Bake the cookies for about 15-18 minutes, turning the baking sheets once at 8 minutes to ensure even cooking. Keep a close eye on them towards the end; they should be golden brown, and the marshmallow should be melted and puffy. Overbaking may cause the marshmallow to collapse and caramelize.
Let them cool, just a little
- I know this is really hard, as they will smell and look utterly delicious at this point. But let them cool for about 15min, so they can firm up a little. They are best enjoyed slightly warm, with the marshmallow still gooey.
Or you could microwave them for a minute or so, if you enjoy softer cookies. You can also freeze the prepared raw cookie on a tray first, then add them to freezer bags once solid and bake them from scratch when you need a treat. This should only add a minute or two to your baking time. Calories: Approximately 250-300 calories per serving
Protein: Approximately 5-7 grams per serving
Fat: Approximately 12-15 grams per serving
Carbohydrates: Approximately 30-35 grams per serving
Fiber: Approximately 2-3 grams per serving
Sugars: Approximately 20-25 grams per serving