Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

So this morning, March 27, 2008, we woke to...

Way to welcome in Spring, isn't it? :)

So as a way to welcome Winter back again ["Oh NO! It's WINTER again!" Those were the first words out of my daughter's mouth this morning.] I decided to whip up some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. [Which I also, by the way, decided to take 14 times as long to make them by doing a huge, long, drawn-out process to reach the end result... all so I'll "run out of time" to clean the tub.] Without further adieu...

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened. [I'm subsituting shortening and 6 teaspoons of water for my butter... I've been baking... a LOT. Ran out.]
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips (I don't reccommend semi-sweet for this recipe.)

I didn't have any butter so... our first step is to beat the butter until smooth with your mixer. I substituted my 1 cup shortening and 6 teaspoons for 1 cup butter, good trick to remember. :)

Our "butter" creaming.

Then begin to add the sugar. I add it in 1/2 cup increments. First white sugar, 1/2 cup, than brown sugar, 1/2 cup. Why? Because I like the change of color. Oh, who knows.

Here's our brown sugar.

And here's my son rearranging the cheese graters for me, how nice. :)

Mommy: "Here Duncan, hold your cheese grater for me and smile!"
Duncan: Makes crazy face that is no where NEAR a smile.

Mommy: Sneaks photo while child is shreiking "SSSSHHHHHEEEEEEE?" like a over-bearing cheese grater at Olive Garden. [For those of you who don't speak child, "SSSSHHHHHEEEEEEE?" is also known as "Cheese."]

Now to the eggs. Your mixture of sugars and butter should be light and fluffy now. Add your eggs, I personally add them one at a time and I use my wee little egg bowl. No, I did not pull this out just too look fancy. Yes, I use it all the time for baking and cooking. No, I do not have any motor skills or brain power after having 2 children. I don't crack eggs INTO batter.

Here's our batter after butter, sugars, and eggs. And for the love of all that is holy - SCRAPE THE BOWL. Just because Kitchen Aid is... well... KITCHEN AID, doesn't mean Mr. Stirrer gets all the nooks and crannies. Kids, it's simple:

Be cool, scrape the booooowl.

Now normally, you'd be making this in November/December - not March. But since I had a can I decided, hey, I've baked everything else in my home this week, why not Pumpkin! The recipe only calls for one cup of pumpkin, which as you can see, if not very much out of a whole can. If you're baking a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and you have some left - make the cookies! If your making these in March and have no desire for pumpkin pie... throw the leftover in the fridge for tomorrow when the 3 dozen cookies have almost disappeared and you need something new to keep you busy.

[Me? I chose option 2.]

In a separate mixing bowl, add your flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice and either whisk together or sift.

I'm a big sifter... I like sifting.

Can you see why? See how pretty the mixture is sifted? :)

Add in slowly, probably in quarters or thirds, into your batter. Be nice to your mixer, give him time. Then add the chocolate chips when your done. Mine have almost NO chips, because like I mentioned earlier... I've been baking. A LOT. So after two separate batches of Muddy Buddies... 2 cups of chocolate chips don't just reappear. Anywho, this is what your mixture should look like. It's a very creamy THICK batter. Yum.

Also - unless you're currently involved in a Pumpkin love affair or you make it a habit of eating your jack-o-lanterns rather than throwing them away... don't eat this dough. The pumpkin, while WONDERFUL after baking, is just SO pumpkin-ee while raw. Although, I'm not big on cookie dough to begin with. Maybe I'm throwing away crooked-teethed smiling orange balls every year when I could be feasting on the best meal of my life! Or... maybe not. *gag*

To get the cookies scooped onto your sheet I use a quick 2-spoon method using tablespoons. By tablespoons I mean those big spoons that you get in your can of silverware that are too big for my mouth but perfect for shoveling in ice cream if you can fit a spoon that big in there. I simply scoop up some batter, scrape on the left side of the spoon against the bowl [this helps take off the extra]...

... flip the spoon over and face it towards the left side of the bowl...

... now withOUT scraping the whole spoon, just scrape the SIDE against the bowl again, and...

... Voila! A scooped off scoop for your sheet. Use you other humongo spoon to get it on the sheet.

Aww, how cute.

Then set your adorable little chick-ee egg timer...

... to 15 minutes. :)

While waiting for our cookies to bake I cleaned the dishes from the procedure and shined my sink. *sigh* Sometimes, being a flybaby just pays off. ;) []

Meanwhile, the hungry herd came in screaming, biting, kicking, and whining. :)

Olivia: "MOMMMMMM! He's going to BITE me!"
Duncan: "Grrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrr RRRrrr!"
Mommy: I shake my head, he never really DOES bite her. "Dunc, stop."

Olivia: "NOOOO! Don't BITE me!" Smack.

Olivia: "Mommy, he was going to BITE me!"

Duncan: Running off to cry and watch Larry from Veggie Tales at the same time.

Ahh, the life of a 2-year-old.

Here's our first batch... minus 5 cookies. These kids are FAST, I tell ya.

This is from the next batch, they should look just like this when finished, edges a little browned, not super crunchy/hard on top. They will set a little more later.

And YUMMO! How nice are these?

For a more printable recipe, you can find it at the end of this personal blog post: click me!

Enjoy your cookies. :)