As I’ve mentioned previously, I lived in New Hampshire for close to three years in my 20s, and I miss it terribly, especially in the fall. Having grown up in Southern California and Texas, I never experienced a true fall until my first in New England. I remember how amazed I was when the trees erupted into technicolor as the air cooled and took on the collective scent of cider and cocoa and roaring bonfires. There’s nothing quite like it.
Down here in Texas, “fall” doesn’t really exist. Summer merely shifts gears from 100-degree days to 90-degree days, and those often last well into October. Sometimes it gets chilly as the holidays approach, but I recall one year when it was so warm that we ate Christmas dinner on the patio. I adore gloomy weather, so when summer refuses to release its grip, I start to get a little blue, and the only thing that will cheer me up is closing the blinds to block out the relentless sunlight so I can daydream about the cooler climes for which I’m better suited. Throwing myself into fall-ish recipe also helps.
I hate to admit it but, in case you hadn’t already noticed, I’m definitely one of those girls who flip the F out about fall in general and pumpkin items in particular. I appreciate pumpkin spice lattes in a completely unironic way, I’ve been stockpiling Bailey’s pumpkin spice creamer in my fridge for the past month, and I almost always have some kind of cinnamon-pumpkin candle burning in the living room. And for the past few years, whenever the first 90-degree “cold front” rolls into town, I’ve celebrated by making these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. If you live in a seasonally-challenged region like I do, bite into one of these and you’ll almost be able to hear the whisper of yellow leaves crunching beneath your boots as you cross a postcard-perfect covered bridge on your way to an afternoon of apple picking . . .
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe from FoodNetwork.com)
- 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of pumpkin purée
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 2 cups of chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Baking Chips)
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat the butter until smooth (you can use a hand mixer, but this is a particularly “goopy” cookie recipe and a stand mixer is helpful).
- Beat in the white sugar a little at a time, then the brown sugar.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated.
- Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin purée.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Working in thirds, beat the flour mixture into the batter.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop the cookie dough onto the baking sheets, about 1 1/2 tablespoons per cookie.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies just begin to brown.
Notes: The best thing about these cookies is that they’re super soft and will stay that way for a day or two. Just be sure to stack them with a paper towel between each layer so they won’t stick together. Also, if you want them to be a little more substantial, you can add a cup of oatmeal and/or a half cup of walnuts.