Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are many things to love about autumn: the beautiful leaves, crisp air, football season, the return of sweaters and boots into your wardrobe, etc. Mike pointed out another one a few nights ago when, as I was taking yet another tray of cookies out of the oven, he breathed a sigh of contentment and said “I’m so glad it’s baking season again.” Apparently at my house fall has come to be known as “baking season.”

The amount of baking I do in the summer tends to be minimal. Probably because I’d rather spend any free time doing other non-indoor activities, and frozen yogurt or a snow cone always sounds like a better cure for a sweet tooth in the hot summer months than a rich cookie or brownie. However, the moment the thermostat drops and the sun starts to set long before bedtime, you will often find me in the kitchen looking for an excuse to transform butter, sugar, and flour into something tasty. Luckily fall happens to be my favorite time of year to go running, otherwise it might also become known as the Season in Which I Buy Bigger Pants.

Usually my token fall pumpkin recipe is this bread, but last weekend I decided to try these cookies after my sister recommended the recipe. Prior to making these I had never tasted a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie that I truly loved. Most were too bland, some were too dry, others were ridiculously over-spiced. This recipe struck the perfect balance, and my goldilocks-like search for the perfect pumpkin chocolate chip cookie came to an end. I’ll probably make them a few more times before Thanksgiving comes around. After all, it is baking season.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ½ cups canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ cups sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 ½ cups flour
¾ cup chocolate chips (you can use milk or semi-sweet, I used a mixture of both. And I probably used about a cup, maybe a little more)

1) In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except flour and chocolate chips. Mix well.
2) Add flour and mix to combine.
3) Stir in chocolate chips.
4) Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheets.
5) Bake at 350 for about 15-17 minutes.*

*When it comes to cookies, I am usually paranoid about overbaking. Nothing worse than a dry, crunchy cookie, right? Well in this case I would actually be more worried about underbaking, as these cookies will be pretty gooey if you don’t bake them long enough and, because they are so moist, it’s hard to overbake them. I left mine in for about 17 minutes as opposed to the 15 the recipe called for and that worked perfectly.

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