The summer of 2009, my best friend Rachel was in four of her best friends' weddings and she categorized this time in her life as "Wedding Brain." I'm a believer that these overwhelming states of mind are absolutely seasonal, and every fall my mind is engulfed in Pumpkin Brain.
I have the discipline to brew coffee at home instead of running to a café... most of the time. Pumpkin Brain has caused me to crave Starbucks Pumpkin Spice lattes four times a day. Every time I go to the grocery store, I buy at least two cans of pumpkin puree even though I know it's available year-round. Since Collin and I move every six months, my fall/winter apartments have a historically strong pattern of having at least one room painted some sort of pumpkin orange.
In the spirit of Halloween and my incapability of suppressing Pumpkin Brain, I decided to make Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies for house church this past week. Speaking of recipes, all the recipes I've featured on the blog are now available on my Recipes page, linked also on the right hand side of the blog.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- dash of cardamom (I use this because of it's sweet and fragrant quality. It's very common in Persian desserts, but may be expensive or missing at your local grocery store. I find it at the Dekalb Farmer's Market or at Shahrzad in Roswell.)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 stick of organic unsalted butter, softened (The better the butter, the better the flavor. Organic butter is usually more flavorful than the regular kinds. If you want a real treat, Kerrygold Irish Butter is available at most grocery stores, and is a guilty pleasure of mine... most guilty in the sense that I could eat it by itself all day...)
- 1 large egg
- 1 15oz. can of pumpkin puree
- 1 cup of chocolate chips, plus another cup of chocolate chips for melting
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom and salt in a medium bowl, set aside
2. Beat together the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the pumkin puree while beating on the lowest speed. Mix until just combined to keep the mixture light. Remove from mixing stand and use a spatula to fold in a cup of chocolate chips.
3. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, about 1.5 inches space in between. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Slide parchment sheets from baking pans to wire racks to cool.
4. While waiting for cookies to cool, heat the rest of the chocolate chips in the top section of a double boiler (with water boiling underneath, low enough that no water actually touches the top pot). If you don't have a double boiler, a makeshift stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of boiling water usually works just fine. I will say, double boilers are only about $30 at home stores, and they make the process so much easier and less chaotic that I'm twice as likely to volunteer making cheese dip or chocolate dipped strawberries than I had been before. Continually mix the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula until all are melted and the chocolate is thick and smooth. Remove from heat, let cool for about a minute, and then transfer chocolate into a ziploc bag (or a real piping bag). Clip the tiniest corner off the edge of the bag to pipe a delicate line of chocolate onto your cookies.
Leftover chocolate can be kept in the bag and saved in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Just cut the ziploc bag off the cooled chocolate and put it back in your double boiler!
I thought I'd include an inspiration board, a.k.a. "What's inside my head when I'm experiencing Pumpkin Brain."
Featured: Hand Warmers from the Purl Bee, Benjamin Moore Paint in Pumpkin Cream, Lion Brand Cashmere yarns