seasonally incorrect, and I’m okay with thatApril 11, 2010
These cookies were born a couple of years back, when I was trying to figure out what to do with the boatload of pumpkin I had put up. After spending an entire day processing and freezing beautiful Long Island Cheese pumpkins, I wanted to make sure I used every last morsel. These pumpkins are phenomenal. I had never heard of them until they were part of our CSA distribution one week, so I asked the farmer what his recommendation was for using them. He told us that these pumpkins were a heritage variety that were just starting to make a comeback. Apparently they’re one of the best pumpkins out there for baking. Yay! We took our share, and headed home.
Several weeks later, on the day we were planning on processing these pumpkins, in fact, we dropped by our favorite local orchard. In addition to their amazingly delicious heirloom apples, they also offer local honey, homemade fudge and baked goods, and several varieties of pumpkins (mostly for decoration). On this particular day, I noticed a wheelbarrow filled with pumpkins, gourds, and squash sitting near the back of the barn. Some of the pumpkins looked familiar, so I asked if they were Long Island Cheese. Yes indeed, they were, and did we want them? They each had one or two tiny soft spots, so they had been heading towards the compost heap. We could have them for free if we wanted them! There was no way I could resist that opportunity, so we went from having two pumpkins to six pumpkins in the space of about five minutes.
After all the processing was done, I wanted to make something that would be easy to take back to the orchard, to thank them for their generosity. Something sweet, but not bread or pie. An internet search for pumpkin cookies delivered a wide range of recipes, and I pieced together a few of them to make my own. Something about the combination of the pumpkin and the chocolate chips just sounded very appealing. And it was, oh yes it was. These two different kinds of sweet seem to have been made for each other. Not overly cloying, simply a gorgeous blend of flavors. The cookies are very moist, kind of puffy fluffy, with a cake-like texture. The moistness makes them sticky, so I’d suggest separating the layers with parchment paper when you store them.
These cookies have become a bit of a tradition – now every fall they save the unsold pumpkins for us, and a week or so later we bring cookies. Both households look forward to it, and everyone involved thinks that they are getting the best end of the deal, so it seems to be a win/win situation. I know for a fact that I enjoy it, as I get a year’s worth of delicious organic pumpkin, in exchange for cookies that I’d have been happy to share anyway.
PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1 cup pumpkin (plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg.
- Add milk and vanilla, mix well.
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt, baking soda.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, mix well.
- Add chocolate chips.
- Drop by tablespoonful (#40 cookie scoop) onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Slide parchment (with cookies) on to counter. Let sit for 10 minutes before moving to cooling rack.