I feel I am finally starting to embrace the chill in the air and the changing of the seasons. It also doesn't hurt that Mother Nature puts on a nice show. I have been reading the excitement fellow food bloggers are displaying over autumn and new seasonal foods, and feeling slightly left out. There is no season whose passing I mourn more than summer. But this past week, I decided to just throw myself in, and actually, it helped me get over my funk. I took my boys to the pumpkin patch twice where we climbed hay pyramids, ran through hay mazes and got lost in corn mazes. We are proudly displaying our pumpkins on the kitchen table where they await carving closer to Halloween. I even broke out the flannel sheets this week as the nights have been cold. All these helped lift my mood, as well as thinking about all of the hearty stews I plan on making this winter. I was finally embracing the thought of autumn, when I came across these cookies on the King Arthur Flour blog. What a perfect treat to celebrate the changing of the seasons and embrace the kids' excitement over Halloween. I modified the cookies slightly to include a little whole wheat flour and changed decorating techniques to make it a little easier for myself. (They made homemade icing and piped it from a plastic baggie, I just bought the pressurized frosting in a can that has the decorating tips on it and used that) The resulting cookie was very cute and my boys are going to flip over them. They are extremely soft and chewy with a great spicy flavor.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies modified from the King Arthur Flour blog
Yield: about 6 dozen
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for decorating
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 can each of the decorating icing in a pressurized can in orange and green
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl. Set aside.
With an electric mixer set on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugars. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and orange zest, beating well to blend together.
Slowly add the dry ingredients, beating well to blend. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Using a tablespoon scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. You can put them fairly close together as the dough does not spread. You will need to mash down the dough balls a little with your spoon or fingers to make them easier to decorate (otherwise, they bake like balls)
Bake on the middle oven rack for about 18 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Immediately upon removal from the oven, press chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies for the eyes and nose. When cool, decorate cookies with orange and green frosting to resemble pumpkins.