Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: Comfort Food Calling

img_2954
Life in Dubai means traveling a lot, exploring as much as possible within a direct flight radius. I started 2017 in California, and since then visited the Taj Mahal in India and went skiing in Kazakhstan. It’s only February. I love our adventures and trying local specialties wherever we go. I can’t say I loved the fermented horse milk in Kazakhstan, but hey, I tried it. Whenever I come home, I unavoidably go through a powerful comfort food craving phase. Usually that means allll the pasta, and a lot of baked goods.

img_2939

Which brings me to these cookies! Soft, chewy, sweet, pumpkin spicy cookies. This recipe is based on a good friend’s famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. She makes them every time my college girlfriends get together, or we make them together. They’re always amazing, and I can only speculate that they’re the magic glue of our long term friendships!  So she gets all the credit for introducing me to this magic formula. Also she’s a doctor so she knows what’s good for you. I just made a few tweaks to put pumpkin and spices in the mix. I was skeptical at first about keeping the chocolate chips in with the pumpkin, but you’ll just have to trust me that pumpkin apparently goes with everything.

img_2946

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 48 Cookies

1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 cup Canned Pumpkin Puree
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Cloves
2 cups Whole Oats (not steel cut or quick cooking)
12 oz (1 bag) Chocolate Chips
Sea Salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Allow the butter and egg to come to room temperature. Cream the butter and combine with the sugar, egg, pumpkin and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, and oats. Add dry ingredients gradually to the butter mixture, mixing well to combine. Finally add in the chocolate chips and mix together.

Usually by this point I’m nearly full because I’ve tasted so much dough…but I shouldn’t recommend that because of raw eggs being bad or some such nonsense…

Spoon the dough into evenly sized balls on a cookie sheet, pressing them slightly flat into, you know, cookie shape. If desired, sprinkle the dough with a bit of sea salt before putting in the oven. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes. If I’ve learned anything by moving so much lately, it’s that ovens vary wildly. Start low on the timer and check for doneness.

Let cool and enjoy with milk (of the non-horse variety)!

©Cook it Pretty 2017

Advertisements

Boozy Irish Cupcakes

THIS IS IT! The best cupcake recipe on earth, and the only one you really need. I suppose they would be inappropriate for a child’s birthday. But otherwise, I have every cake-baking occasion covered for you with this single recipe.

Boozy Irish Cupcakes | Cook it Pretty
One of those occasions is of course St. Patrick’s Day. Oh, you don’t usually make cupcakes for this holiday? Well, you should. Because THESE cupcakes are made with the same ingredients as an Irish Car Bomb shot, which I know you have consumed on at least one March 17th in your life. That means Irish whiskey, Guinness, and Bailey’s. Mixing these things with chocolate is a good idea.

Boozy Irish Cupcakes | Cook it Pretty
It will result in a beautiful, boozy, chocolaty mess as pictured above. First you incorporate the Guinness into the chocolate cake batter. Then you fill the cupcakes with whiskey ganache, and top them with Bailey’s buttercream frosting. Bailey’s. Buttercream. I’m always trying to think of more things to frost with this, because it is downright incredible.

Boozy Irish Cupcakes | Cook it Pretty
It would be a shame to only use this recipe once a year, which is why I have also used it for loved ones’ birthdays along the way. No one turns down booze and chocolate. No one you want to be friends with, anyway. So yes, the cupcakes are sitting on a decidedly wintry, holiday-ish plate because I last made them for my husband’s December birthday. But you should definitely make them for St. Patrick’s Day, or Equinox, or your friend’s bridal shower, or to celebrate your half birthday.

Boozy Irish Cupcakes | Cook it Pretty
I tell people that if I have made them these cupcakes, I definitely love them. Not only because of the gift of deliciousness that they are, but also because they’re a little extra time consuming with the whole ganache filling step. But definitely, definitely worth it.

The recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen, with a couple Cook it Pretty tips:

  • The amount of whiskey in the ganache is totally dependent on your taste. I always add a bunch more than the recipe calls for. If I’m making a boozy cupcake, I want to be able to taste it. Since most of the beer cooks out in the cake part, this is the place where you’ll really taste a little alcohol. Taste as you go!
  • This also applies to the Bailey’s frosting, which is my favorite part. Start with the recommended amount, then add a little more to your taste. The flavor is awesome.
  • The trickiest part of this recipe is the coring and filling of the cupcakes. I actually own a coring tool for this sole purpose, which is made for apples but works perfectly for cupcakes too. You’ll need something like this to make the recipe work. Mine looks like this:

Cupcake Corer | Cook it Pretty

  • I use the ziplock bag with the corner cut off trick instead of a piping bag to get the ganache into the cupcakes.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Put the “cores” you remove from the cupcakes into a bowl, drizzle with leftover ganache, and dollop some frosting on top for a super delicious reward for all your hard work.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

All the Pumpkin Pie Things

Pumpkin Pie Filling | Cook it Pretty
I made a big batch of pumpkin pie filling at Thanksgiving time and froze the leftovers. I knew I could use it for something delicious when the craving struck. So recently I opened my freezer to discover a small pack of puff pastry squares. Light bulb moment: Heyyyyy that sounds like instant pumpkin pie to me! I decided to cut the squares down to fit a mini muffin pan. Bite sized instant pumpkin pie…even better.

Mini Punkin Pies | Cook it Pretty
I didn’t waste time trying to make the crust pretty, I just kind of threw them in the tin, filled with the excess pie filling, and started baking. While I am the biggest fan of home made pie crust you know, especially my Mom’s, this was just. so. fast. Which makes it kind of irresistible, doesn’t it? Filling I already made and dough I don’t have to fret over? Pretty close to instant gratification for all your pumpkin pie craving needs.

Even after that mini pie feast, I still had more filling left. Also in my freezer, old-ass bananas saved for just such an occasion. Substitute a cup of pumpkin pie filling for one of the two eggs in my go-to banana bread recipe, reduce the sugar a tad to balance the already sweetened filling, and BAM – Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread.

Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread | Cook it Pretty
That’s two pretty major leftovers baking success stories in a row. Both delicious, quick, and easy. What’s your latest brilliant use of leftovers?