One of my closest friends has been going through a lot of stuff recently. It would be pretty accurate to say that she's been jerked around by life. I suppose that there are times that we all go through this, feeling like we are being treated unfairly, but in this case it's absolutely true, at least from my perspective. It's frustrating to watch someone who is so caring and generous get constantly pummelled. Don't get me wrong, she has a lot of good things in her life, but she has always worked hard for her luck, sometimes, you really shouldn't have to.
Anyway, a few weeks ago (pre Austin) she received some bad news (which subsequently turned into okay news, that went right back to bad news, and then aggravating news). To try and cheer her up a bit, I decided to surprise her with some cookies before she got home from work. I figured, it's the least I could do. She's a big fan of pumpkin, which gave me a good opening to start looking for a new pumpkin cookie recipe.
A quick search over at Anna's lead me to these cookies. I halved the recipe and started making my patently un-patented adjustments. First, to the amount of sugar; then adding brown as well as granulated sugar, also tossing in some nutmeg, because I have a problem. Also, for pumpkin, my preference is always white chocolate. So much so, that I decided on white chocolate chips with pumpkin before I even figured out what I was baking.
Here's a little secret that I'm going to let you in on, be prepared, because this might blow your mind; when you cut a recipe in half, it's important to remember to halve every ingredient. You might consider writing down the modified ingredients so that you don't mistakingly add the full amount of pumpkin to the recipe. MIND = BOOM!
So what does one do when he adds the full amount of one ingredient to a previously halved recipe? You might think that he would add the full amounts of all the other ingredients and just make a full batch. Well, you'd be wrong. What he does is exclaim “I can save this!” while reaching for a cake pan and dumping the batter in to throw it into the oven for thirty minutes. He then starts from the beginning, because he's still determined to make cookies. What you also might not expect is that when he's done making the new cookie dough, there's still fifteen minutes left for the “cake” so he takes that out of the oven before it's done and starts baking batches of cookies, and when finished puts the “cake” back in oven to finish.
MIND = KABLOOIE!
Amazingly, and despite my best efforts, “both” recipes turned out quite well. The cookies were soft and cakey, as pumpkin cookies tend to be, yet slightly crisp on the first day (subsequent days always have them turning really soft); the cake pan version morphed into a pretty good pumpkin bread. Each was warmingly pumpkin spicy and a perfect match to the creamy sweet white chocolate flavour. It's such a wonderful combination.
My friend loved the surprise and really enjoyed the cookies, which made it all worth it. I'm really hoping that I won't have to bake things for this reason anymore. I'd much rather bake for celebrations.
White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
Adapted from Cookie MadnessMakes approx 3 dozen 2.5" cookies (using a small cookie scoop)
1 cup all purpose flour (130g)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie-filling) -- for cake version add 1 cup
1/4 cup sugar (50g)
3 tbsp packed light brown sugar (41g)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp large egg lightly beaten egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large bowl add pumpkin, sugars, oil, egg and vanilla and mix until completely combined.
Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix until completely combined.
Add flour and stir until no streaks or lumps remain.
Fold in white chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheets and lightly flatten with a fork. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes.
Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before moving to rack to cool completely
For cake version: bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and allow to cool completely in pan