In the past few days I've received several requests to share my pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe, requests which I've been mulling around in my head ever since. Should I? Shouldn't I? Would there be ramifications? Long term ramifications? It went on like this for awhile--me sitting on the fence parsing the living daylights out of the situation, until I received an email from a girl named Kelly begging me at all costs to take the offending recipe to the grave. That's right. She didn't want me to share it. In the worst way.
After that, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was as if someone had lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. Why didn't I see it before? Of course I would share the recipe! It's clearly what I meant to do all along!
But first a caveat: you haven't baked with me before, have you? Because the following information may not be appropriate for people who are in cahoots with measuring cups or concepts like precision or possibly even success in the kitchen.
Here's how you break it down:
Mix together a cup of butter, a cup of white sugar, a cup of brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.
Slosh in a goodly amount of vanilla (if you're using the real stuff, perhaps keep it to a responsible limit).
Add two eggs. Mix!
Open a can of pumpkin (unless you love your kids enough to purée an actual gourd) and dump in about half (save the other half for the batch you will bake tomorrow after you accidentally inhale the results of today's efforts).
Now here's where it gets iffy. I add in all those good allspice smelling spices. You can't go wrong with cinnamon--two tablespoons at least! Nutmeg you want to treat with a little more respect. Add a stingy teaspoon, then set the bottle down. You have to know your limits! And whatever you do--don't mess with the cloves. I mean, use them by all means, just don't mess with them. Pinch them like snuff and sprinkle it over your brew, then get the heck out of Dodge.
Don't forget the two teaspoons of baking powder! Also a teaspoon of baking soda for good measure, since I can't remember which one you actually need. Mix again.
Another iffy part...one that is kind of crucial. How much flour to add? It has to be two cups at least! Here's the thing--add the two cups, mix, and see what you've got. Does your cookie dough look like ogre slop? It shouldn't be ghastly drippy...it should only be troublingly oozy. If it looks like soup, you've got problems. Add another 1/2 cup or so of flour. If it looks like super thick stew, you're in the right neighborhood.
I frankly think you should just add the 2 1/2 cups of flour in the first place and avoid putting yourself through the agony of indecision over that last 1/2 cup. Unless you're like me and live for agony.
If you're a person who likes a fat little dumpling of a cookie, you may even want to add an extra 1/2 cup of flour on top of the initial deposit, bringing the total flour content of your cookie dough to a whopping three cups!
At this point I would sample the dough and determine whether it tastes spicy enough for you. If not, another shot of cinnamon and nutmeg should do the trick. You pick the amount. Don't mess with the cloves, though--you're lucky if you escaped the first time without some shady clove punching you in the stomach.
Now you're ready for the chocolate chips. I use the semi-sweet kind and about 2/3 of a bag goes into one batch. I personally like to add raisins, but then my girls act like those raisins have ruined their chances of getting asked to the prom. I also think some sort of nut would be tasty...say pecans? Or walnuts? But I really couldn't take the triple face crumple that would result from such a stunt.
By the way, I hope you preheated your oven to 350 degrees. That's practically de rigeur, you know.
Using two teaspoons, slop little balls of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet...the main thing is to keep the size of the dough deposits pretty uniform and at equal distances apart (unless you can't work with those kind of rules--then just do whatever makes you happy).
Bake 15-16 minutes or so. You should already have good music playing, because your house is about to smell like everything is right with the world. And when the cookies are ready? Oh, happy day!
Wishing you the loveliest start to your week (and that we're still friends after this troubling tour through my mental kitchen)!
p.s. if anyone is so bold as to attempt this recipe, I think we would all like to know how much flour you're actually supposed to use.