Too Good to Photograph: Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies

9 Jul

It was a hopelessly predictable, typical situation. I was sitting at my best friend’s table shortly after “breakfast” at 11:30. She was reading the comics section followed by the political stories in the newspaper. Her athletic younger sister was poring over pictures of the World Cup and the Sports section. Feeling left out, I scoured through their cookbooks and pulled out this gem:

Yes. A giant book of chocolate. Made to look like a chocolate bar, with pictures of each and every recipe. I simply had to look at it; what kind of baking aficionado would pass that up? I spent a good hour turning the pages and wanting to make each and every delectable delight. Finally, I turned to my best friend’s sister (the owner of the book) and said, “Ryan, can I borrow it?” She agreed, on the condition that when they return from their road trip I am to have prepared something for them (which I probably would have done anyways, to be honest!). So home I went, book in hand, ready to bake up a storm.

I had some pumpkin left over in my fridge from making muffins, and though I’ve been putting it in my oatmeal, I was ready to use it up. I happened upon a lovely little recipe for pumpkin-chocolate cookies that didn’t even require eggs (we’re running low, alas!). Out came the ingredients and I quickly whipped them up .

This was another of my late-night baking endeavors; I usually bake at night in part because my mom doesn’t harass me about the mess I’m making, and because sometimes I just can’t sleep (of course, that’s why I end up sleeping all day, but shh!). Because of this, I have no natural lighting by which to photograph my goodies. I am also typically too tired to work with the crappy lighting in my kitchen by the time I’m done baking. Usually I snap a few for posterity and wait to take better ones the next morning. But this time, when I wandered downstairs in a pre-caffeine haze, I realized there simply were not any more cookies to photograph! My family managed to polish off the entire half-batch before 10 AM. Granted, the cookies are small and light, but still. It was the morning. Really?

If people didn't eat these so damn quickly, I might have a decent photo...

I did get a chance to try one though, and I thought they were wonderful. The orange zest (which I was tempted to omit) added a really sunny note that was different from most pumpkin cookies. They are decidedly cakey in texture, which I’m not always a huge fan of, but it works. I used mini-chocolate chips and thought that worked pretty well since they were fairly tiny. My half-batch made 20 cookies using a 1/2 tbsp measuring spoon as a scoop. These come together quickly and are good, so if you like pumpkin and chocolate have at them!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies
adapted from The Golden Book of Chocolate

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/2 tbsp finely grated orange zest
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375.

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until it resembles fine crumbs (I used my hands for this, just crumbling up the butter in the dough). Stir in the sugar, pumpkin, and orange zest (dough will be somewhat thick; I thought it wouldn’t work at all, but it wound up being sticky, so have faith!). Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop teaspoons of the dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. bake until golden, 8-10 minutes. Cool until cookies firm slightly, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

If you get 40 cookies, each one has approximately 42.4 calories, 1.8 grams fat, 0.3 grams fiber, and 0.5 grams protein


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