Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Cookies

Dessert

Holy moly it’s been a long time since my last post! These last few months have been FULL of travel for me and Jon but it’s time to get back to business. To kick off things off, today’s post is dedicated to the face of Fall— Pumpkin.

Two years ago, I was introduced to the joys of pumpkin carving by my good friend Carolyn. Her family is incredibly festive for every holiday, and it’s no surprise that Halloween was a thing in their household. Her parent’s bought us pizza, we carved our little hearts out and good times were had by all.

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Although last year was a miss, this year Carolyn and I were back on track!

With fall beers and light hors d’oeuvres on the menu, Jon and I decided Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies were the perfect compliment to Carolyn’s spread. The recipe below yielded 28 cookies and they were all pretty big! Unlike the texture of traditional chocolate chip cookies, these were a little more voluminous/cake-like. Also, in order to achieve a little crunch on the bottom, we left our cookies in the oven for 27-29 minutes BUT the original recipe did say they could be removed in 22-24 minutes. All depends on your preference :).

Have a safe Halloween, and happy baking!

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P U M P K I N   S P I C E   C H O C O L A T E   C O O K I E S

Ingredients (yields 28 cookies)

Pumpkin Pie Spice*

2 Cups flour

1 Teaspoon baking soda

3/4 Teaspoon baking powder

1/4 Teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Cup granulated sugar

1 Stick unsalted butter

1 Can of pumpkin

1 Egg

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 Cup semi sweet chocolate chips

(*You can absolutely buy pre-mixed pumpkin spice, but if you tackle it  yourself, just do a pinch of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, black peppercorns, and star anise.)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice in a medium sized bowl. Set this aside.
  3. Mix butter and sugar in a large bowl until the texture is smooth. Mix in vanilla extract, egg and pumpkin. IMG_9271
  4. In small batches, add dry ingredients into the large bowl with the wet mixture. For easy, even mixing, use a sifter throughout the process. IMG_9185
  5. Fold chocolate chips into the large bowl of cookie batter.
  6. Using a tablespoon, scoop  batter on to a non-stick tray with two inches between each cookie. (My baking sheets have seen better days so I tend to add foil and non-stick baking spray to play it safe.)
  7. Bake cookies for 24- 29 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Allow cookies to cool for 15 minutes, then chow down! IMG_4199

 

 

Pumpkin Soup

Mains, Sides

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Do you ever get cravings for things you’ve never even had before? That is exactly what happened to me last week. Out of the blue, pumpkin soup was on my mind and haunting me for days. Now, on the one hand, I am major soup lover. I’m the sort of person who drinks soup year round because I love the warmth and the I love the flavors you can cultivate. On the other hand— I’ve never really gotten into the spirit of “Pumpkin Season”.

Unlike most, Fall as first generation American (parents are British) in Florida is always somewhat watered down: The weather barely changes. Halloween is still somewhat baffling. Thanksgiving is always delicious (turkey, stuffing, cranberry, roasted potatoes, dinner rolls, apple pie…)  but kind of basic (nothing fried, no crazy casseroles, no pumpkin pie, no pecan pie). Even my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte was a little anticlimactic because I found the flavor to be a little too sweet!

All this to say, while I couldn’t tell you why pumpkin soup was on my mind but man am I glad it was! After consulting google and Pinterest for a few recipes, I decided the flavor profile I wanted to achieve would be similar to butternut squash soup (there were a few recipes that called for coconut milk and chives which also sounded good so I may try that too).  During the process I also decided I wanted the soup to have a tinge of sweetness to it to balance out the salty in the bacon and cheese it would be dressed with on top (it was almost an even split between recipes that called for sugar/honey and recipes that did not).

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P U M P K I N   SOUP

Ingredients

1 ½ Cans pumpkin puree

4 Cups chicken broth (my boyfriend and I tend to use Kitchen Basics because there’s additives in there)

1 ½ Teaspoons salt

1/ 2 Cup chopped onion

1/2 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 Teaspoon minced garlic

8 Whole peppercorns

1/ 2 Teaspoon ginger paste (or fresh ground ginger)

1/ 4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 Teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/ 4 Cup honey

1/ 2 – 1/3 Cup heavy whipping cream

4 – 6 Pieces of cooked bacon

Optional:

1 / 2 Cup Cheese (I recommend parmesan but we had feta in the house and just used that),

1 Bagel (or bread of your choosing) for croutons

1/2 Tablespoon Ghee (or butter)

Process

1.      In a large pot, combine pumpkin puree, chicken stock, salt, thyme, garlic, pepper corns, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Turn the stove to high until the pot begins to boil. When this happens, turn temperature to medium-low and place the lid on. Stir periodically.

2.      In a sauté pan, fry 4- 6 strips of bacon on medium temperature. When the bacon is crisp, remove the meat from the pan (do not wash it though) and place bacon onto a plate of paper towels as to absorb the excess grease.

3.      Turn bacon pan to medium-high and sauté onions with a pinch of salt and pepper. When the onions begin to caramelize, pour the contents on the pan into the large pumpkin pot. This will add some more savory flavor!

4.      Add honey to large pot, turn the stove to low and place the lid on. Let this cook for at least another 30 minutes or so to really let the flavors mix. (I deep conditioned my hair that night, so I let my soup go for about an hour and a half)

5.      Slowly stir the heavy whipping cream into the pot. Leave this cook for a final 5 minutes.

6.      When the soup is complete, serve each portion with crumbled bacon strips, a pinch of cheese, and croutons*.

*During the soup’s final 10 minutes, chop one bagel (we had some frozen, but the bread is up to you) into 1” cubes. Place bread into a sauté pan with ghee (or butter) and season with a pinch of salt and set this on medium high. When the bread turns toasty and golden brown you’re all set to go!