Friday, October 2, 2009

It is pumpkin time: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well, fall has arrived here in Riverside, California. Yes, the temperature is finally back in double digits. And even though it is still around 95 degrees, it almost feels like sweater weather.

And nothing says sweater weather and fall like pumpkin. And nothing says pumpkin like pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

This recipe is nice if you don't have time to let your butter get up to room temperature, because it just calls for canola oil. (Although, you still need your eggs at room temperature.)

I mixed the dry ingredients first. The cinnamon-ginger-nutmeg-cloves combination is glorious isn't it?
And, as always, I used freshly grated nutmeg because you really can tell a difference. So get yourself some whole nutmeg, break out your microplane grater, and get a-gratin'.
(While the microplane in this picture is a 'spice' grater, you can use your zester grater as well. And if you don't have any microplane at all, get one. It will change your life.)

Once the dry ingredients were mixed, it was time for the wet ingredients. I started by beating my brown sugar and eggs for 2 minutes.
Yes, I timed it.
Next, beat in the pumpkin, vanilla, and oil. I love the pale orange here.
Then, in with the flour, that I stirred until just incorporated.
Now, one of my favorite parts: the chocolate chips. Recently, Cook's Illustrated did a taste test of chocolate chips. And guess what, Nestle Toll-house was actually 'not-recommended'. On the top of their list were Ghiradelli 60% cacao chips. They taste like really good chocolate. Delicious.
So, in went the 'superior' chips.
Once that was just mixed, it was time to put them on the cookie sheet. Now the recipe I used called for either a small ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measure. And, as a good recipe follower, I took out my ice cream scoop and as soon as I put the first mound on the baking sheet I realized these were going to be enormous cookies. But why not have a little celebration? So I carried on.
Into the oven for 15 minutes. And out they came, smelling like fall and looking wonderful.
If you have ever had a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, you know that they aren't really cookie-like. They are more like cake meets pancake meets muffin meets cookie-form. They are wonderful, mind you, but be willing to meet these 'cookies' on their terms.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon (I make it a slightly heaping tsp)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (again, slightly heaping is nice)
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup canola or corn oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup (215 grams) canned pumpkin puree
1 cup chocolate chips (like Ghiradelli 60% cacao or semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.

In a different large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until light and smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the oil, vanilla extract, and pumpkin. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Using 1/4 cup of batter (use a small ice cream scoop or measuring cup) place small mounds of batter onto prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.**

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cookie comes out clean.** Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 18 cookies.

**If you are making smaller cookies, i.e. normal size cookies, you will want to decrease the baking time. My guess is 10-12 minutes, but that is only a guess.

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