Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies II

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies 2It’s pumpkin season. Today, Pittsburgh is a cool 60 degrees with rain, and the tops of the trees are tinged orange and brown. Fall, my favorite of the seasons, is here.

Last week’s pumpkin ginger cookies left me with about a cup of unused pumpkin, and there were so many possibilities for its use. Tomorrow I’ll be baking another pumpkin-themed treat, but today, because Mike was able to come home early from work, I decided to whip up a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for him. These differ slightly from pumpkin chocolate chip cookies i, in that they have a combination of semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chips and no nuts.

Incidentally, pumpkin is quite good for you. It contains vitamins A and C, magnesium, iron, and potassium and is low in both fat and cholesterol. Granted, mixing it with sugar and chocolate chips changes things, but let’s focus on the positives, eh?

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 15 ounces pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars.

Add pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla; mix well.

Slowly add flour mixture and beat until well combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough about two inches apart on the baking sheet.

Bake 17 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

pumpkin molasses cookiesMy kitchen smells so amazing right now that if the Yankee Candle folks could be here they’d create a candle based on it. I almost called these treats Pumpkin Dreams, because their original title didn’t quite seem to capture their aromatic deliciousness; I also considered calling them Septembers, because they’re an excellent combination of fall ingredients.

I will readily admit that I ate one the moment it was cool enough to consume without burning my mouth, and they are among my favorites, ever, which is really saying something.The perfect marriage of a pumpkin cookie and a gingersnap, they are spicy and sweet with a crunchy outer edge and soft, pillowy center.

The triple threat in these treats is the combination of pumpkin, molasses, and the spice blend of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Each ingredient highlights the next, so you get layers of flavor; the spicy sweetness of the cinnamon and the pumpkin, the rich and slightly bitter molasses and cloves, and the light zing of the ginger. This cookie is an excellent example of how certain flavors can bring others out, in the best of senses. Next time, I may toss in a bit of nutmeg into the mix and see what happens.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling

Preparation

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add pumpkin, molasses, egg, and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add flour in two batches, mixing well.

Cover and chill dough for about 1 hour, until easier to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop dough and roll into balls, then coat each ball very well in sugar and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, until edges are set and centers are puffy. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

.

Pumpkin Pie

 

 

 

 

 

Why do we eat pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, and not in the middle of July? Because once upon a time, long before supermarkets and canned pumpkin puree, people ate what was available to them in any given season, and pumpkins were available in the fall.

Seasonal eating is another great lesson that can be learned from your local family farm market. Pumpkins, squashes, and apples are great fall foods, as peaches, berries, and corn sweeten the summer. Citrus fruits, like my favorite clementines, are at their best in winter. So while you can procure nearly any fruit or veggie year-round, it won’t necessarily taste as good out of season.

You could certainly roast a pie pumpkin, scrape out its flesh, and use that in your pumpkin pie, but thanks to the good folks at Libby’s pumpkin puree is available year-round. This is a quick and easy recipe that works well for busy holiday times.

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
  • 1 16-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 lightly beaten eggs
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup milk*

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a 9-inch pie dish with crust; trim edges and place on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any overflow.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and beat with a fork.

Add eggs and beat lightly until combined.

Slowly add milk and mix well.

Pour filling into prepared pie dish.

Cover the edge of the pie with a guard or foil to prevent over-browning.

Bake for 25 minutes, then uncover the edge and bake another 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean.

Cool completely.

*Full disclosure: In my flurry of Thanksgiving preparations, I totally forgot the additional 1/2 cup of milk in this pie. It turned out just fine, but next time, I’ll make sure to use both the evaporated milk and fresh milk!

Pumpkin Roll

 

 

 

 

 

I love that scene in “Julie & Julia” when Julie Powell kneels before her coffee table, preparing to follow along with the episode of “The French Chef” in which Julia Child de-bones a duck. With that scary chef’s knife in her hand, Julie nods to the television and says, as if hoping to convince herself, “No fear, Julia.”

I thought about this scene while contemplating pumpkin roll over the past few weeks. The concept of the pumpkin roll has long intimidated me. Roll the piping hot cake in a tea towel? What if it cracks? What if it sticks to the towel? What if it’s a total disaster?

Well, if Julie Powell could de-bone a duck, then surely I could make a pumpkin roll.

I summoned as much bravery as possible, mixed my ingredients, and baked my cake. There was a precarious, breath-holding moment when I flipped the cake out of the pan onto a cooling rack, peeled back the waxed paper, then immediately slid it onto the sugar-coated towel. With hope, I rolled the cake in the towel and set it on a cooling rack.

A few hours later, with the filling prepared, I stood before my towel-wrapped cake. Carefully peeling back the towel, I discovered that it was not only intact, but crack-free. After slathering on the filling I re-rolled the cake, secured it in plastic wrap, and with a profound sense of satisfaction, placed it in the fridge to chill.

No fear, bakers.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan, then line with waxed paper and grease and flour the paper.

Place a clean tea towel (linen or flour sack, nothing too textured) on the counter top and sprinkle it generously with powdered sugar.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Beat until thickened, about three to five minutes.

Add pumpkin and beat well.

Stir in flour mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top.

Bake for 13 minutes; the top should be just golden-brown and spring back slightly when pressed.

Working quickly and carefully, invert the pan onto a cooling rack, peel off the waxed paper, and slide or flip the cake onto the tea towel.

Roll up the cake and allow to cool on a wire rack completely before filling.

For the filling:

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and butter; beat until smooth.

Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until very well combined.

Carefully un-roll the cake from the tea towel.

Spread filling in an even layer, leaving about a half-inch border at the long edges.

Re-roll the cake and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies I

This time of year, I wonder about the first colonial woman who, at a loss for traditional British baking ingredients, thought to cut up a pumpkin, roast it, scrape out its flesh, and mix it with sugar and spices for pumpkin pie. Whoever she was, I applaud her ingenuity. Without her, we might not have canned pumpkin. And without canned pumpkin, we probably wouldn’t have pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

As these baked, I told Mike that someone should make a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie-scented candle, because they filled our house with a sweet, spicy aroma that was not unlike something you’d inhale at the Yankee Candle shop. Fortunately, these cookies taste as good as they smell.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 15 ounces pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars.

Add pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla; mix well.

Slowly add flour mixture and beat until well combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Using a two-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough about two inches apart on the baking sheet.

Bake 18 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Bread

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkins claim a place of honor in fairy tales, folklore, and popular culture unparalleled by other vegetables. Cinderella traveled in style in her pumpkin coach. Jack Skellington, of Nightmare Before Christmas fame, was proclaimed the Pumpkin King. The Headless Horseman hurled a pumpkin in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Harry Potter and his friends enjoyed pumpkin juice in the Hogwarts dining hall. Linus missed trick-or-treat fun on Halloween night waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear—and all that came was a beagle.

These whimsical squashes are both cute and tasty, which is likely why we decorate, celebrate holidays, and cook and bake with them. This was my first experience baking pumpkin bread, and I adapted the recipe from another that I found online, substituting cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for ginger. Next time, I plan to add chocolate chips to the batter for an extra hint of sweetness and perhaps some toasted pecans for crunch. Once they cool, I may even drizzle them with powdered sugar icing.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 15 ounces canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 eggs

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 loaf pans; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; mix well.

In another large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, butter, pumpkin, and eggs; mix well.

Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined.

Divide batter evenly between the loaf pans; I used a measuring cup to scoop about three cups of batter into each pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. You may have to cover the loaves later in baking, after about 45 minutes, to prevent them from over-browning.

Cool completely in loaf pans.

Drizzle with powdered sugar icing if desired; combine two cups sifted powdered sugar with one teaspoon vanilla extract and one to two tablespoons of water until you reach a drizzly consistency, then pour over loaves.