My favorite life philosophical quote at the moment is, "Who's to say what's good and what's bad?" Its part of an old Chinese proverb about a guy and a horse and if I had paid attention to the content of the quote I could reiterate it now, but the story doesn't interest me as much as the lesson. Uprooting life as I knew it for New York City has been very good to me. I'm writing more and am cooking at home/made brooklyn wine bar becoming a better culinarian everyday, i.e. my goal for being here in the first place. However, the curse of moving to New York City is the limited time I have to put into all things baked. I read tweets and posts about all the fine autumnal baking happening and I am left excited by what others are up to, but forlorn for my lack of baking bravado.
Luckily to cure my baking blues, I received the Ghirardelli Luxe Milk Chocolate Squares from the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program to sample and review. The chocolate pick-me-up was just want I needed to get my baking rear in gear. At the anniversary party of 8 of Swords Tattoo Shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where my man meat is currently working, I brought Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (just a refashioning of my Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookies) to spread the cheer. I need to get my Martha on for a minute for a life lesson insert, "Never come empty-handed to a party." That's it, I'm done. Back to the tattoo shop. Since baking is an interesting topic to tattooers and tattoo enthusiasts everywhere, I was gushing about my Toasted Pine Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies (yet to be perfected and published). Just then I instantly got the bug to do another chocolate and nut combo cookie. Chocolate and nuts weren't vibing enough until I realized I have never made pumpkin cookies. Over the last few years I've done the pumpkin cupcakes, brownies, and even pancakes, but this fall its all about the cookie.
The Ghirardelli Luxe Chocolate tasting was on my baking brain when shopping for my cookie. Initially I wanted to use milk chocolate like the luxe line to pair with the pre-determined pumpkin and pecans, but when I spotted the Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips I knew my cookie was to be white (and orange). I researched how to make pumpkin cookies less cake-y and more chewy, and while more tweaks are needed, this Betty of a cookie is slightly spiced, soft, with a hearty crunch from the pecans and sweet creaminess from the white chips. It's almost chewy...almost and is a quintessential fall sweet retreat. In closing before the recipe bit, thanks to some good online friends at Foodbuzz and new friends at 8 of Swords for helping me no longer feel left out of this year's fall baking pack. Yet if I hadn't felt badly about my lackluster fall 2010 baking roster, I never would have created this cookie. Who's to say what's good and what's bad?
White Pecan Pumpkin Cookies Recipe (Prep time: 30 minutes, Cooling time: 60-90 minutes, Cook time: 10-12 minutes per batch, Total time: 2-2 1/2 hours, Servings: apprx. 3 dozen)
- 2.5 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 sugar
- 1/2 lb. unsalted butter
- 1 15 oz can organic pumpkin mix
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- In one medium bowl, add salt, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, allspice and flour. Mix together using whisk. In a large bowl, cream melted butter with brown and granulated sugar until light in color.
- Beat in egg and vanilla until thoroughly mixed making sure to scrape down the sides.
- Beat in pumpkin mix thoroughly making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet in three batches. Beat the first two batches in, scraping down the sides, and for the last batch mix in using a large wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
- Add the white chocolate chips and pecans and mix those in using the wooden spoon method as well.
- Refrigerate the cooking dough for 60-90 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly grease cookie pans with spray.
- Using a tablespoon, drop a large amount of dough unto the sheet, about 2 inches in diameter.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are browned.
- Remove from sheets and transfer to a cooling spot and let cool at least 10 minutes. *These cookies will stick to each other when stacked. To avoid blemishes, put parchment paper in between each layer in the storage container.