Friday, November 26, 2010

52 Cookies - Chapter 47

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, there was great anticipation for the approaching feast.  I posted on here earlier about the deep love my children have for my mom's cranberry sauce.  (It was a triple batch this year!)  I love the sweet potatoes and the turkey and the desserts.

Oh yes,  the desserts!

I was talking with Owen earlier in the week about the food we had to look forward to and I told him that Grandma was going to make a pumpkin cheesecake. 

"What else will there be to eat for dessert?" he asked.

"Well, pumpkin pie, of course," I replied.

Very matter-of-factly, Owen folded his arms and announced, "I don't like pumpkin things."

I wondered to myself, "Have I overdone it a bit on the pumpkin over the last two months?"

Thankfully, Mom had some chocolate ice cream in the freezer to sate Owen's dessert appetite.  Ah yes, the traditional bowl of chocolate ice cream.  All the Pilgrims had chocolate ice cream for Thanksgiving...right?

This is my final installment on any and all things pumpkin for a great while.  I promise.  Earmark this recipe for next fall when you are in the mood again.

This is a recipe that my Grandmother on my Dad's side used to make when I was a kid.  It makes a great deal of cookies, so they would be super for a fall party or sharing with neighbors.  I baked half of the dough.  The other half, I plunked down on a cookie sheet and froze, then I moved them to a Ziploc freezer bag.  The next time I need to bake up some cookies for the Soup for the Soul mission meal my church provides weekly downtown, I'll pull these out and bake them up in nothing flat.  As Ina Garten (aka Barefoot Contessa) would say, "How easy is that?!"  

Great Pumpkin Cookies
Here's What You Need:
4 cups flour
2 cups quick or old fashioned oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Here's What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Give it a whisk to combine and set aside.  Cream the butter and gradually add the sugars.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.  Slowly, alternate the additions of the flour mixture and the pumpkin.  Keep the mixer on low each time you add some flour mixture or you'll have it looking like a winter wonderland in your kitchen!  Mix in the chocolate chips last. 

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.  It sure makes quick clean up when you're done.  When grandma would make these, she used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out this cookie dough.  The cookies were big!  She'd spread the dough out some and then take a little dab of dough and add it to the top.  They were supposed to look like a pumpkin shape.  Sometimes they turned out like that, other times, not so much.  I just went for the basic cookie shape so I used my handy dandy, can't-live-without-it, cookie dough scoop.  I used the larger one.  If you make them large, bake for about 15-20 minutes, otherwise, start with 10 minutes and adjust your time accordingly.

These cookies are very, very moist.  I was a bit dissatisfied with how they held up since I was taking them into a dinner the PTO was serving the teachers at school.  They seemed almost doughy (the cookies, not the teachers).  Perhaps the dough could have used more flour.  I've made a note on Grandma's recipe card to consider the next time I make these.  You might want to try it as well.

I'm truly anxious about the Christmas cookie baking season this year.  I have so many recipes that are traditional favorites.  I'm wondering how I'll find the time to get all of those made in addition to a new cookie every week to complete my year long Cookie Journey.  Only five more weeks to go!  I've been stocking up on baking supplies and scouring my never-ending supply of recipe sources.  I hope I'm able to find at least one or two recipes that will pique your interest and encourage you to try something new this holiday season.

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