Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's pumpkin season, the time of year when canned pumpkin and pumpkin butter are more accessible to make delicious pumpkin treats like pumpkin cookies. Depending on the recipe, these cookies can range from very cakey to thin and chewy. Pumpkin has a lot of moisture,  so using canned pumpkin typically produces a cakey cookie. For chewier cookies, use pumpkin butter because it has all of the pumpkin flavor without the extra water.

It's interesting how a recipe can vary so much when proportions and technique are altered. I found a great recipe for chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and having made it before, I decided to play around with some of the ingredients to see how it would change the result.

The main thing that did change the texture of these cookies were creaming the butter instead of melting it. I also found that the recipe wasn't affected much if you omitted the cornstarch.

More often than not, cookie recipes call for the creaming method, taking room temperature butter and whipping it with sugar. When you cream butter with sugar, the sugar cuts into the butter creating air pockets. The trapped air causes the cookie to rise leading to a cakier or less dense cookie. Using this method still makes a good pumpkin cookie and it's not as necessary to chill the dough, but it won't create a cookie that's chewy in the middle and crispy around the edges. Melting the butter is a better way to get that texture, but you do need to make sure to chill the dough before baking otherwise the cookies will spread too much.

Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cookies using melted butter
Adapted from How Sweet It Is

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup pumpkin butter

Cookies using creamed butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix the flour, salt, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, mix the melted butter and sugars until they are combined.
 Add the egg and vanilla and stir until mixed.
Stir in pumpkin butter until smooth.
Gradually add flour mixture and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together.
 Fold in chocolate chips. Feel free to omit them if you want just pumpkin cookies. I split my batch in half and made half pumpkin and half pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes, then roll into golfball-sized balls or use a cookie scoop to drop them on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are crisp and slightly golden on the edges, then let cool completely.

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