Even though I don’t get to experience true fall weather in San Francisco like I used to on the East Coast, as October rolls around I still can’t help getting into the spirit. Between regular updates from back home about the state of the apple harvest and all those pumpkin flavored drinks that begin to appear in Peet’s and Starbucks, I’m ready to start my fall baking binge!
One of the first recipes I return to each year is my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. I’ve tried many versions, but keep coming back to this one. They are perfectly soft and chewy, and equally amazing warm or cold. They also freeze well, and I love keeping a reserve on hand for cookie emergencies. I eat them cold and crunchy or heat them for about 20 seconds in the microwave and enjoying them soft and gooey with a cold glass of milk.
As I began to prepare for this season’s first baking session, I got the crazy idea to go on a real pumpkin binge and see if I could translate my favorite cookie into an ice cream version of itself. I riffed a bit on a recipe for plain Pumpkin Ice Cream to as closely mirror the cookies as I could. I was pretty pleased with the results!
I highly recommend pairing the two together for an amazing fall treat double-whammy! Try a warm cookie with a dollop of ice cream on top and enjoy the melt-y pumpkin-y goodness.
Or try as an ice cream cookie sandwich. Freeze cookies for a few hours in advance, then sandwich a scoop of ice cream between two of them.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp clove
- Pinch ground ginger
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 egg, room temperature (crack egg into bowl to separate)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease 2 non-stick cookie sheets or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Beat in brown sugar and white sugar until the sugars begin to dissolve and mixture appears smooth. Add egg, followed by vanilla extract, and beat until incorporated.
- Turn mixer down to low speed. Slowly beat in flour mixture and pumpkin in alternating batches until dough forms. Be careful not to overmix or pumpkin will become gummy.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Drop rounded spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto baking sheets.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until edges start to brown. Remove from oven, and let sit on hot baking sheet for 2 more minutes. Move cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
Yields: 24-26 cookies
Baking Tip: The original recipe calls for twice the ingredients, which results in far more cookies that I can (or should) eat. Even so, this will yield about 24-26 cookies. If you go for the full batch, you can go for bigger cookies but watch them closely as they bake. They are cakey, so if you remove them too quickly they’re apt to be under-cooked in the middle. I’ve found it best to keep them to tablespoon-sized scoops.
Storage Tip: These cookies are moist. Store in an airtight container to ensure freshness. Refrigerate or freeze if keeping for more than a couple of days. Cookies be stored frozen for a least a couple of months.
Recipe adapted from: Popsugar
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons bourbon
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin
- 1/3 cup milk chocolate bar, chopped into small 1/4 inch flakes
- Make an ice bath by putting some ice and a little water in a large bowl and nest a smaller bowl inside it. Set a mesh strainer over the top.
- In a medium saucepan mix the milk, cream, granulated sugar, ginger, ground cinnamon, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and salt. Warm the mixture until hot and the edges begin to bubble and foam.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and gradually whisk in about half of the warm spiced milk mixture, stirring constantly.
- Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
- Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer into the bowl nested in the ice bath. Mix in the brown sugar and add back in the cinnamon stick. Stir until cool, then cover and chill thoroughly in refrigerator, preferably overnight.
- Whisk in the vanilla, bourbon, and pumpkin. Press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- In the last 2 minutes of churning, mix in chocolate flakes.
- Pour into freezer container and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.
Yields: 1 quart
Adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker