Quick, what do these things have in common: Halloween, October, harvest, November, Thanksgiving. Give up? The answer is pumpkin… pumpkin is associated in some way with all of these different times of the year. In honor of October and Halloween just passing, the arrival of November, and looking forward to Thanksgiving, I want to share the recipe for one of my all time favorite cookies.
My mom used to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for us kids every year around pumpkin season. So in addition to being delicious, these cookies are steeped in fond memories of Halloween and family Thanksgivings. I have kept her original recipe pretty much intact. I made a few tweaks to the spices (reduced the cinnamon, added some vanilla) and swapped out the vegetable shortening in favor of a mixture of butter and lard (fake fats scare me). Otherwise, these cookies are just like I remember them… moist, cakey, and loaded with chocolate chips.
Make sure that you don’t over bake them. They are supposed to be very moist and soft. Bake them until they feel just set when you touch them gently with your finger. They keep well, though they get a little sticky on top if they are in a closed container. They are easy to put together so make sure to bake lots of them. They are a real crowd pleaser during this time of year.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
5 tbls lard (you can use vegetable shortening)
3 tbls butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 15 oz can solid pack pumpkin (or about 1 lb fresh pumpkin, steamed until tender and pureed)
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and spices and whisk well to combine. In a large bowl (or in your stand mixer) cream the butter, lard, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until light in color. Beat in the vanilla and the pumpkin.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet in three batches, mixing until each batch is incorporated before adding the next (make sure to scrape down the work bowl occasionally). Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in the 350 degree oven until just set, about 12-15 minutes. Let the baked cookies sit on the sheet for 3-5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
These cookies are tasty warm out of the oven but I think they are even better completely cooled because the chocolate chips provide a nice texture contrast to the rest of the cookie. Store in a covered container at room temperature for about 3 days (if they make it that long). Makes about 3 dozen.