The following blog was written 2 years ago, believe it or not. These cookies were the very first recipe I made out of Baked Elements, and obviously, I simply couldn’t wait another 2 years until they were scheduled to bake and blog about them! I re-read what I had written and saved in my drafts, and decided to totally keep the blog as is. It’s certainly proof that my writing has become a bit sluggish over time! I adore these cookies – and without further ado, I present a 2-year-old blog post extolling their many virtues… and why it was the very first recipe I baked out of Baked Elements. I’ve kept some of the original pictures as well, but also tossed in a couple new ones, because yes, I may have written about them long ago, but I couldn’t resist baking up a new batch this week. Enjoy:
Being a huge fan of pumpkin, the pumpkin chapter of Baked Elements is naturally the first chapter I turned to, and this recipe, tucked away at the end of the chapter, caught my immediate attention. With the exception of biscotti (which I typically find too dry), I gravitate toward cookies that you can eat with/dunk into a cup of coffee. The intermingling tastes of strong, nutty coffee and buttery, spicy goodness is so nostalgic for me, as I was practically raised by a family that drank coffee religiously and had coffee klatches in which we savored wonderful treats with good coffee. When I read in the book that Renato created a pumpkin cookie that could be dunked into coffee – with some semisweet chocolate and chewy, yummy dried cranberries tossed into the mix – well, I was so there from the get-go.
It’s a fairly easy recipe to put together. The dough itself is a pumpkin cookie dough fragrant with warm fall spices and studded with oatmeal – topped off with the inclusion of chocolate chips and cranberries. I suppose you could toss some kind of nut in there, but why spoil a good thing? (Aside from almonds and pecans, you will discover I have a pretty big aversion to nuts – most kinds. They just turn me off and have no place in good desserts.) The hardest part is waiting for the dough to chill 4 hours before you bake these little treasures off. In several of Matt and Renato’s recipes, I’ve noticed they suggest chilling the dough after it’s mixed all together – often for a few hours or even overnight. This allows the dough to relax for a while – think of it as all of the ingredients partyin’ and chillin’ together for a little bit before things ‘get hot in here’! It makes perfect sense and often leads to a better cookie which holds its shape. I have a nemesis in chocolate chip cookies – I have NEVER made a good one – but the one time I finally did have minor success, it was with making Baked’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe – and that recipe suggested an overnight shindig in the fridge for the cookie dough. Soooo… don’t skip this crucial step with these babies. Chill your dough. Yes, 4 hours. The cookies, when scooped uniformly with a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, held their shape and puffed up nicely.
The beauty of pumpkin as a main ingredient in a cookie, or even a bar cookie, is its ability to keep the cookie moist. These cookies are no exception to the rule. Matt prefaces the recipe by suggesting that you may want to over-bake these cookies a touch, in order to have a nice golden, slightly crunchy exterior which complements the pillowy, soft, and chewy interior. And by all means, dunk them in a nice “hot coffee bath”… they’re even more heavenly and happy. I made these in the later evening hours, and had to make a pot of coffee (decaf, of course) to test them out. Trust me, it’s a flavor experience you don’t want to miss.
This is a keeper recipe. Make this one to take your fall holiday or football parties, folks. They make a fairly good-sized batch (the recipe says 36; I got 48, which is good, because I probably ate a dozen myself right away) and will be a bona fide hit among pumpkin aficionados.
For the recipe, visit:
Brew up some coffee, and enjoy this delicious start to your fall!