For years, when our kids were little, the wind up to Halloween in our house felt something akin to the way supermarkets start stocking their shelves with Halloween candy in August-- for months, the kids would pick and change and pick and change and pick and change their minds about costumes, we'd buy a new Halloween-themed decoration to add to our collection and we'd meticulously plan out the Halloween-night route that would get us the most quickly to the "hotdog house" (an amazingly generous home in our neighborhood that threw a barbecue from hot dogs to s'mores to hot chocolate for whoever showed up). Now that the kids are kinda past the trick or treat stage, Halloween plans have definitely taken a back seat, but just yesterday I realized that it's exactly two weeks and four days until the holiday and high time to get into the Oct. 31st spirit. And these Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chippers have definitely put us on the right track!
Our town really gets into Halloween. Not only do people decorate their homes with everything from spider webs to homemade ghosts dancing in a circle to flying witches and bats, but the shops in town let kids paint their storefront windows with Halloween inspired creations and the town shuts down one of the main streets on a Saturday in late October for a Ragamuffin parade, where the firetruck leads costumed kids of all ages down the avenue for candy and hot dogs and other treats to the village fire house. It's a lot of fun and though my kids don't do it anymore, my nieces still march and carry on the tradition. And of course, there are Halloween parties, both in school and at home. That's where these cookies come in--you knew I'd circle back around to them eventually! They're easy to make, practically bite-size (think portion control) and everyone loves them!
You start by making a simple drop cookie batter, adding canned pumpkin and plenty of cinnamon in the process.
Then you stir in a generous amount of chocolate chips--I like to use minis because you get more chocolate per bite that way!
Next you drop them by teaspoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet.
The cookies bake up golden brown and stay moist and cake-like, even when cool. Each bite is full of the wonderful combination of pumpkin, cinnamon and chocolate. Make them now and get yourself into the pre-Halloween spirit too!
Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chippers
Makes about 5 dozen mini-cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes; Bake Time: 13-15 minutes
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup canned cooked pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 twelve ounce bag mini semisweet chocolate chips (you can regular size chips if you like instead)
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and pumpkin. Beat at medium speed for about 1 minute, or until well combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary. The mixture sort of looks curdled--it's ok.
3. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture in and beat on low speed until well combined and no flour is visible. Remove from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips.
4. If you want to make mini-cookies, drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheets, leaving an inch between the cookies. For larger cookies, use a rounded tablespoonful. Bake mini-cookies for 13-15 minutes or until cookies are firm but spring back when you gently press into one of them. Larger cookies need an extra couple of minutes.
5. Cool cookies on the baking sheets on a wire rack for a few minutes, then transfer to the wire rack and cool completely. Cookies can be kept for about 5 days, stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Note: Recipe adapted from Cookies-Food Writers' Favorites by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann and Jane Baker. I toyed around a lot with these--the size, ingredients and proportions.