It is officially fall!! I love fall. I love the colors. I love the weather. Sweatshirts and shorts? Yes, please! The apples and the pumpkins and the corn… so wonderful. I could go on for days. I mean, come on! There is certain magic in the air.
Most of all, I love pumpkins. Pumpkin flavored everything most things. I’ll admit that it may be getting a little out of hand. Pumpkin + baking = heaven. And I love cooking real pumpkins and making my own puree than buying cans of it. (I included the How-To of making your own pumpkin puree at the end of this post.)
Today, I want to share with you a delicious recipe that I found: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. Divine. The LoverMan and I made it together on our Stay@home date night.
Gather up your supplies: flour, quick oats, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, baking soda, vanilla extract, butter, 1 egg, chocolate chips.
You will also need two bowls: medium and large, baking sheets, parchment paper, & cooling racks. And the obvious stirring utensils. Maybe some moral support; I had LoverMan.
In the medium bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
In the large bowl, whisk together butter and the two sugars until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin.
Slowly add the flour/oats mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Stir until the well combined. Add in the chocolate chips—we used milk and white chocolate chips. I totally recommend that decision.
Now, set aside the bowl for 5-15 minutes—we want the oats to soak up some of the liquids so the batter isn’t too runny.
The rest is history: drop spoonfuls onto your lined baking sheet. Bake at 350° F for 13-15 minutes. When they are good to go, place on the cooling rack to, well, cool.
Here is how I make my own pumpkin puree:
Step 1: cut your pumpkins in half—this is hard(ish) to do. They are pretty tough… but a big knife, some elbow grease, and determination will get it done. Also, set your oven to 300° F.
Step 2: gut it. Take out the seeds and strings as best you can. If you want, this is a perfect time to save those seeds to roast later! Yumm.
Step 3: in a 9×13 inch pan, place the pumpkins rind up (meat down). Pour ½ inch of water into the pan (keeps the pumpkin from drying out and burning while they cook).
Step 4: throw them bad boys in the oven for 1 hour (or until tender). I gauge their doneness by a fork—does it easily slide through the rind into the meat? Yep! Okay, they are good to go!
Step 5: take those beauties out and let them cool. Then take a spoon and scoop the meat out of the rind. If you still have some strings, they won’t mess up the puree. We just don’t want too many of them.
Step 6: put the meat into a food processer. Add some water to make the blending easier (not too much!). Have at it… you will end up with, well, a puree!
Q: But why does my pumpkin puree taste different from canned pumpkin?
A: Simple, surprising answer: your canned pumpkin is not just pumpkin!! Here is more information. Companies commonly use pumpkin and squash in their products. Because certain types of squash fall into the same genus (think: taxonomy) as pumpkins, it’s technically not a lie. The added squash enhance the color and sweetness of the pumpkin.
Another note: pumpkin pie filling is pre-seasoned. Manufacturers do the dirty work for you by adding the cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. into the pumpkin.
Lastly, enjoy the fall and all of its pumpkin-y glory!