Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Please Note:  This post is an excerpt from a post on my old blog, Rachel Robin’s Nest.  I posted a picture of these cookies on Instagram yesterday for the #SweatPinkAutumn challenge and the response was huge, so I figured I should share the recipe.  Enjoy!


This recipe is tried and true.  It was given to me by my dear friend, Jaska, and it was developed by her grandmother.  The joke in her family is: “You  know it’s a Grammy recipe when it’s got 4 cups of flour in it!”  And yes, this recipe has 4 cups of flour in it.  But the resulting cookies are so flavorful, and so fluffy, you won’t even care that they are probably pretty bad for you.

I did however, make a tweak to this already amazing recipe.  I decided to swap the oil for some homemade applesauce–WINNER!!.  It really gave the cookies additional depth and moisture, and there are actually tiny pieces of cinnamon-y apple in them.  SO. GOOD.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

from Jaska

Ingredients:

  • 2 c pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c oil ( or unsweetened applesauce!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 2 tsp milk
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 c flour
  • 2 c chocolate chips
  • 1 c chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, eggs, oil (or applesauce), sugar, soda, milk, and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Mix in the flour a bit at a time, stirring until just combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
  5. Scoop onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.  The edges will be just turning a golden brown.

I have to say, I’m really proud of myself, because this recipe is supposed to yield 4 dozen cookies.  Usually, I end up with less than three dozen, because I am physically incapable of making small scoops of cookie dough.  My cookies always turn out to be ridiculously large.  Jaska and her mom, Sabrina, always used to tease me about my XXL cookies.  HOWEVER, this time, I used a measured cookie scoop.  And I ended up with 4 1/2 dozen cookies.  Hooray!

See how nice and small and even they are?

I love making these cookies because Jaska, Sabrina and I used to get together each winter and bake them together.  It was always after Christmas, because we were always so busy during the holidays, but without fail, after New Year’s I’d get a phone call, and we’d set aside a date. I’d arrive first thing in the morning and we’d bake as many cookies as we possibly could-pumpkin, Grammy’s molasses cookies…whatever we had time for.  And when we were all done baking, we’d feast on cookies with organic milk, or strong coffee sweetened with molasses.

Making these cookies always brings me back to Sabrina’s warm, bright kitchen, and gives me the warm fuzzies all over.  I hope you love them as much as I do!

What’s your favorite pumpkin or fall-inspired recipe?

One-Pot Pasta Dish

Those of you who are on Pinterest have probably seen at least one variation of this “One-Pot Pasta Wonder Tomato Basil” recipe.  It gets re-pinned A LOT.  And you know why?  Cause it’s easy, and delicious.  Ben and I have been making this about once a week since I discovered the recipe.

Unfortunately, the dish as it exists is very heavy on simple carbohydrates (pasta), without a lot of veggies or protein to help keep you full.  Therefore, I came up with my own little spin on it, adding a bell pepper for additional veggie power, and chickpeas for some filling protein and fiber.  I think this would be an awesome pre-race dinner, especially with a side of garlic bread and a salad.  Yum!

One-Pot Pasta (adapted from Apron Strings Blog)

Photo Apr 03, 12 56 35 PM

Ingredients:

  • 1 box linguine, or two cups of elbows (we buy elbows in bulk, so that’s what we use)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion cut into short strips
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or chopped very fine
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 4.5 cups chicken or veggie broth (I’ve done it both ways and I prefer the chicken)
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (you could also use one cup of dried chickpeas, cooked in advance)
  • Olive oil (for sauteing)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Place onion, pepper, garlic, and spices in a large, oiled stockpot, and saute just for a few minutes

2.  Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil.

3.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until the pasta is tender–about 8 minutes

And there you have it.  Easy, right?  No need to drain and rinse pasta and dirty a bunch of dishes.  The liquid mostly evaporates, and the starch from the cooking pasta creates its own “sauce” right in the pot.

Try adding other vegetables like mushrooms or spinach to bump up the veggie quotient even further.  You could also use other protein sources like chicken or shrimp.  We just used chickpeas because they’re cheap, and that’s what we had in the house.   And to make it extra healthy, you could use whole grain pasta!

Have you tried your own variation of the “One-Pot Pasta”?

 

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I made butternut squash soup for dinner on Sunday.  First of all, this soup is delicious.  Secondly, it’s nutritious.  Thirdly, this recipe makes A TON of soup.  I didn’t get any actual volume measurement, but we had it for dinner Sunday, lunch yesterday, and lunch again today.  This would be a great recipe to whip up on Sunday and have lunches all week.  Or freeze it in smaller portions for those days when you just don’t have time to cook.

This is a recipe that I’ve perfected through some trial and error, and you will notice that it’s not really seasoned all that much.  I prefer to taste the actual veggies myself, but you can certainly spice it up all you want, and I’ve included some suggestions below the recipe.

Butternut Squash Soup

Photo Apr 06, 5 44 42 PM

Chopped veggies.. mmmm…

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 tart apples
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 onions
  • 6 cups chicken broth (you could use veggie also)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Peel and chop the veggies.  The pieces don’t need to be super small, but they’ll cook faster if you cut them in smaller pieces

Photo Apr 06, 6 01 26 PM2.  Add veggies and broth to a large pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook until veggies are soft.  Feel free to add some salt and pepper, but be sparing here–it’s best to wait until after the soup is blended to spice it.

3.  Remove pot from heat, and using an immersion blender, puree the soup.  If you don’t have am immersion blender, you can puree it in batches in a blender.

4.  Once soup is pureed, add salt and pepper to taste.  I really don’t use that much salt because the broth is already pretty high in sodium

For a Sweet Autumn Squash Soup:  Subsitute sweet potatoes for regular potatos, add a dash of nutmeg and top with toasted pumpkin seeds

For some Middle Eastern Flair:  Add some curry powder and serve with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt

Personally, I prefer this soup with a few dashes of Frank’s Original Red Hot sauce mixed in.  There’s truly nothing better, in my opinion.

Frank's Red Hot makes everything better!

Have you ever made butternut squash soup?  How do you season it?