Monday, January 12, 2009
I’ve actually been doing a fair job of keeping that cookie jar my Mom gave me full of cookies just like I vowed.
This isn’t entirely altruistic on my part. As usual I bought way too many ingredients to make Christmas cookies, and now my pantry runneth over with baking ingredients like walnuts, chocolate chips, dates and crystallized ginger.
The Kitchen Genius HATES this. It drives him crazy when I buy ingredients that I don't use in an orderly manner. When his level of irritation reaches the apex of his toleration, he actually starts piling these overflow ingredients on the counter and searches through cookbooks for ways to make them go away.
Ha! I beat him to it last week with my baking frenzy. When I usurped his role as pantry cleaner, he actually hovered, reading the recipe, handing me ingredients and generally getting in the way.
That little sugar pumpkin I cooked up last week yielded 2 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree, so even after I made the yummy Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins I still had some left to play with. When I was planning my Christmas cookies, I came across a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies that I wanted to try. Unfortunately I ran out of time and energy (hence that full pantry).
A new pet project of the past few months is to see how many healthy foods I can get my son, Tommy, to eat. He is my fussiest eater and hates ALL vegetables. We used to joke that the only vegetable he ate was ketchup – only it wasn’t a joke.
Now that he’s 13 1/2 and growing like crazy (he’s bigger than me now and his feet are simply enormous), he’s always hungry and that is working in my favor because he’s more willing to try new foods than ever before just out of sheer starvation.
In a recent article in the New York Times, nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden recently listed the 11 best foods that are easy to find that people aren’t eating, and pumpkin made the list because it’s loaded with fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A.
I’m sure muffins and cookies aren’t the healthiest way to deliver pumpkin, but I’m working with what I’ve got, and that boy will eat cookies.
The recipe comes from a little yellow tin recipe box I bought in the craft store my Mom had more than 20 years ago. I was a young wife and mother and the box came filled with hand typed recipes. This one is attributed to a woman named Nancy who is probably from Binghamton, New York, where I bought the recipe box.
If these cookies are any indication, Nancy is a very good cook. The cake-like cookies were moist and delicious and disappeared quickly. After dinner, I put the plate pictured above on the dining room table. An hour later, this is what was left:
When I was done baking the cookies, I still had a half a cup of pumpkin left so KG suggested I use it for a sauce for pizza that night. (Do you see a thread here of how that man just wants me to use up every ingredient?) I topped the pumpkin with a light layer of mozzarella, bacon, caramelized onions and Gorgonzola cheese and it brought pizza to a new level of fun and tasty.
I think I still have a can of pumpkin in the pantry, so this isn’t the end of the pumpkin recipes, but I’m giving it a rest for now. On to dates and crystallized ginger…
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen
1 cup pumpkin
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon milk
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Combine pumpkin, egg, oil, milk and sugar. Beat well. Sift flour with baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Add vanilla, chips and walnuts and stir to combine. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
For a printable recipe click here