Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

It's gourd season, y'all. It's a beautiful coincidence that the time for all things pumpkin intersects with the time for all things football. I think that's sort of how my life works. Everything happens at once. My birthday is Christmas Eve, so I get birthday and Christmas all at once. And now it's not just football and pumpkins in the fall. It's also Grady-time. He turned 11 months old yesterday, and I'm absolutely floored at how he's gone from wee (although his hands and feet were never wee) and utterly helpless to large and in charge. He wants to feed himself, he can drink out of a sippy cup, and he's SO close to walking. Oh mercy, I didn't mean to get all sentimental.

I have to say I'm really excited for Grady's first birthday. My sister has a wonderful day in mind, and let's be honest, the party is really for the adults. I just know Grady will go to town on the smash cake we make him, but it's not like he'll remember any of this. All that said, let's get down to cookie business.

You'll need: All-purpose flour, coconut oil/vegetable oil, pumpkin puree, chocolate chips, molasses, bourbon/vanilla extract, eggs, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon.

As with most cookies, get your dry ingredients together. Flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and the cayenne all go into a bowl. A gentle whisk distributes everything. A note about the cayenne- you can totally leave it out if you're not into the spicy cookie thing. I like a little bite sometimes, and I think it gives the cookie an interesting, unexpected note.

Molasses, brown sugar, and eggs are combined in a large bowl.

Next, add the pumpkin, oil, and bourbon. A note about the bourbon- you can totally sub in vanilla extract. Honestly, the bourbon was right at hand, and I wanted to see what happened. I venture to say the flavor largely cooks out, and the dominant flavor is pumpkin. Go with your gut.

Beat in the pumpkin and oil until the mixture is smooth as a baby's bottom.

Add the flour mixture and give it a few folds with a spatula before beating it in with a hand mixer. I like to think that helps with flying flour. You can also do it completely by hand because really it's easy.

Leaving a few floury streaks in the batter before folding in my chocolate chips helps prevent over-mixing.

I like a semisweet chip best in my cookies.

Something you should know: this batter is a little loosey goosey. Like you'll think there's no way you'll get a legitimate cookie out of this. Don't believe your eyes. Instead, let it sit for five minutes to thicken up, and use a tablespoon to scoop out the batter and deposit it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. You'll be amazed at how it doesn't spread on the pan, and it won't spread in the oven.

Seriously! It puffs up, becoming a fluffy, cake-cookie hybrid.

You could make bigger cookies or have a basketful.

You could ice them with a maple glaze or dust them with powdered sugar for a pretty, snowy effect.

Just right for an afternoon cup of coffee with slightly sticky tops to match the slightly sweet pumpkin and chocolate. Maybe I'll sneak one to G-man before his big birthday.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies (makes 35-40 smallish cookies)

2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Scant 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
2 large eggs
1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c coconut oil, melted (vegetable oil may be substituted)
Splash of bourbon (vanilla extract may be substituted)
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne (if using). Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, molasses, and eggs until just combined. Add the pupmkin puree, coconut oil, and bourbon. Beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and fold a few times before beating on low speed until almost fully incorporated. Alternately, you could do this completely by hand. Pour chocolate chips into the batter and fold in using few strokes. Let stand five minutes.
  • Using a tablespoon, portion cookies onto the prepared cookie sheet, leaving about an inch between cookies. Bake 12 minutes or until tops have set. Let cookies cool fully on wire racks.

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