My freshman year in college, I had the worst roommate in the history of roommates. I've never loathed or desperately wanted to get in an all-out physical brawl with someone more than this chick. And I'm a totally nice, peaceful person. I swear. We passive-aggressively tortured each other for a solid year—the hate in that dorm room was so palpable that my friends wouldn't even visit. I'm clenching my fists and squinting my eyes just thinking about it...[deep breath] oh dearie, where was I?
The one thing I remember about that psycho, that I always thought was so weird and typical! of her, was that she loved pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. At the time I thought, Who the hell likes pumpkin cookies? The antichrist, that's who. Her mom would send care packages with piles of them tucked perfectly in brand-new tupperware with a handwritten note. Then she'd slowly nibble on them, plucking at her laptop keyboard while I death-stared her from across the room.
But I have to hand it to that nutjob, she actually had one legit cool factor going for her that I never realized until now. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are the best thing that have happened to me since fried bananas and anyone with a proper tastebud in their mouth agrees. I'm still working on pumpkin pie (I know, friends, I know) but so far pumpkin spice bread, muffins, lattes, and cookies all fit nicely into my category of addiction.
Not all of us will get there, not all of us will give that bright orange substance a chance. My husband (if I had known pre-wedding...!) gagged when I gave him a force-feeding yesterday. He's slowly converting to an all-things-cozy lover so in good time, I'm sure. He's just playing hard to get.
I should warn you that these cookies are in a league of their own. More bread-like and cakey, uber moist and easily adaptable. You can change up the chips to your preference, add nuts like I did, all the good stuff.
Hot off the baking sheet, they are glorious. With iced milk or vanilla ice cream, you can't go wrong. Alongside tea or coffee, they are the supreme afternoon treat on a blustery autumn day. I've got these ready at hand for the rain that starts this week...
...and 7-8 seconds in the microwave, with that seductive spice smell and pillowy-soft texture, I'm all set.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Joy the Baker
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated if you have it)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or corn oil
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.
2. Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides as needed. On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix the flour mixture to incorporate it. Stir in the chips and nuts by hand.
4. Scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart. About 1/4-cup per scoop.
5. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 15 minutes. Let them cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.