Friday 31 October 2014

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can’t believe its Halloween today! This month has just flown by. I don’t usually celebrate Halloween, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some autumnal pumpkin based baking.

Around this time of year cans of amazing pumpkin puree appear in the shops for a few fleeting weeks before disappearing again for the rest of the year (grrr). I spotted some a few weeks ago and grabbed a couple of cans while I could. I love the flavour of the canned puree, it is pure earthy, sweet intensely flavoured pumpkin goodness. And just look at the wonderful natural orange colour. Nothing like the dull watery, anemic pumpkins they sell for pumpkin carving. They really don’t taste good, so don’t bother trying to cook with them – believe me I’ve tried many times in the past, they are grown for carving out scary faces only! If you want to make your own puree, you’d have much more successful using a butternut squash.

I thought about making pumpkin cake, but I’ve done this before and wanted to try something different. Instead I decided to make pumpkin cookies. I found a simple recipe online, but tweaked it to suit my tastes, making it gluten free, adding chocolate chips and a few spices. It's also dairy free if you used a dairy free dark chocolate!

The recipe stated to use vegetable oil, but I didn’t have any so used some melted coconut oil instead. This was the first time I’ve baked with coconut oil and I love the subtle flavour it gave. Not obviously coconut, but definitely a slight exotic hint of something, it really worked well with the sweet earthy pumpkin.

The cookies baked to be thick soft cakey cookies. A sort of cake-cookie hybrid. They were firm enough to handle once cooled, and had a slight fudgy stickiness to them, reminiscent of a cookie, but the softness and light texture of cake. It made for a lovely texture. I loved their golden orange colour too.

The flavour was amazing. The pumpkin has a very unique earthy sweetness, that worked brilliantly with the freshly grated nutmeg I included. They really complimented each other and gave a wonderful autumnal flavour. The chocolate chips added little bits of rich bitter cocoa flavour, and they stayed nicely soft after baking too.

I ate most of them as cookies, but couldn’t resist sandwiching two together with a bit of cream cheese for a very indulgent, massive cookie sandwich. Biting into two thick soft cakey cookies and then hitting the tanginess of the smooth cream cheese was delicious.

My sister decided to have some traditional pumpkin fun by carving a pumpkin. She sent me some photos of her masterpiece and I think you’ll agree she did a wonderful job, really spooky! How do you prefer your pumpkins…carved or baked?

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
200g canned pumpkin puree
200g caster sugar
100ml vegetable oil (I used melted coconut oil)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
150g white rice flour
25g tapioca starch
25g cornflour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
100g dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180C and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, vegetable oil (or coconut oil), vanilla and egg.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices. Add the flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and fold together with a spatula until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. The batter will be very soft, so don’t worry.
Using an old fashioned ice cream scoop, or large tablespoon, take scoopfuls of dough and arrange on the baking trays, leaving a 2 inch gap between each one.
Gently press the tops down so they form thick discs of cookie batter.
Bake for approximately 12-14 minutes or until ever so slightly tinged brown around the edges and slightly puffed. They should still be soft to touch.
Allow the cookies to cool for 10-15 minutes on the baking tray to firm up, before using a pallet knife to transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Best eaten within 2 days. Can be frozen.

Makes 18 large cookies


MuchRatherBake said...

Oooo I do love how big and thick these cookies are =)

Gluten Free Alchemist said...

The colour of these is so rich and warming. They look delicious. I know what you mean about typical shop-bought halloween pumpkins..... you're lucky if you get any flesh out of most of them. This year though, I carefully sourced one through a local traditional grocer and it was full of juicy, usable fruit!

The Caked Crusader said...

I'm definitely in the 'carved' camp - can't really take pumpkins or squashes on my plate! Who knows though, perhaps your biscuits would convert me!

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

YUMMMM! It's like you read my mind Katie! I made some pumpkin cheesecake swirled brownies and had some leftover pumpkin that I really felt like turning into some choc chip cookies and voila! you've done it for me! Will definitely give these a whirl - they look so tasty! Thanks for sharing :)