We finally had a taste of fall this week. After a blazing September, October is graciously cooling us down a little. Any drop in the temps, added to the fact that it’s October, is a cause to break out the cans of pumpkin puree.
(Yes, cans. If I were totally a superstar chef and an earth-friendly, organic habitue, I’d grow and puree my own pumpkin. But as usual, time constraints triumph over ideals.)
Where was I? Oh, yes, pumpkin. So I made this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I had made it previously, and although I thought the cookies were good, I felt that they could be better. Since I needed a pumpkin dessert for a group pumpkin potluck this week, I brought out the recipe again, started mixing, and simply made some changes as I went along. Here is what I did differently:
1. I doubled the recipe. The initial recipe makes very little. Not ideal for group baking (I bake for groups. Never just for myself).
2. I was out of baking powder so I had to substitute. I think it turned out pretty good in the end. Moral of story: don’t panic if you run out of a necessary ingredient. A substitute may be even better.
3. I was short on time (I was baking two hours before having to be somewhere, cookies in hand), so I eliminated the “mandatory” chilling required in Sally’s recipe. Not only did these cookies have a perfect crunch-to-chewy ratio, the cinnamon-sugar mixture adhered to the room-temp dough way better than to the chilled dough.
4. I increased the vanilla. For whatever reason, recipes are shy about using vanilla and I don’t know why. It serves to enhance the flavors being combined if there is enough. Sorry, but one teaspoon is not enough.
5. For the sugar/cinnamon topping, I reduced the ratio of granulated sugar to cinnamon. One reason is that the original recipe makes waayyy too much topping. I ended up throwing out a lot of the remainder. Needless waste makes me sick. No apologies here. If I can conserve and not waste food, I will. Another reason is that the cinnamon in the original recipe didn’t stand out. I like cinnamon and I want to taste it. If you don’t feel this way, then revert to the original ratio.
Here you go!
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour*
1/2 teaspoon salt **
1 teaspoon baking powder ***
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a microwave. In a medium bowl, mix the melted butter, brown sugar and 1 cup granulated sugar until no brown sugar clumps remain. Mix in the vanilla and pumpkin.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 3 teaspoons cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix only until completely incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips.
In a separate bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.Roll balls of cookie dough in the topping, coating well, before placing on baking sheet. Flatten slightly (I used the bottom of a glass cup dipped in the topping so as not to cause topping loss with this step). Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. Cookies may appear a little underdone, but if you press gently and your indent remains slightly, or it springs back, they are done. I like to bring them out when the finger indent remains slightly because the cookies continue to bake a little during the cooling process. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Do not overbake! The ultimate crime in cookie baking is leaving them in the oven too long. Many, many a good cookie has been ruined this way by over-vigilant bakers. There is no egg in this recipe so there is absolutely no need to worry about underbaking! Raw egg vigilantes everywhere, rejoice!!
I agree with Sally’s comment on the original recipe; these cookies are even better the next day! This means that they are the perfect bake-ahead dessert if you are short on time. If not, and you do as I did (baking at the last minute), take comfort in the fact that they are still good and perfectly crisp/chewy/and soft all at once!
Happy munching, friends! Until next time… xo
*I gently spoon into the measuring cup and level with a knife)
**I prefer sea salt or kosher salt for baking
***if you run out, as I did, you can sub 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda)