Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This last week has been a pretty rough one. It seems as if nothing is going my way. Everything I try to do right, turns out wrong. Every time I try to take the right turn, I go down the wrong path. I've been stuck in a vicious cycle of tears, anger, and pity for several days. I can't sleep, but I'm tired. I feel as if my whole world is changing and I can't make it stop. It's been awful. So what does a girl do when her heart is breaking - she cooks! Well, at least I do! There is something calming about being in the kitchen for me. It's where I do my best work. When I take out a recipe and put it all together and the end result tastes and looks just right, I feel good about myself. I feel worthy. I crank the radio up, set out all my ingredients and supplies and just lose myself in my cooking. It works, most of the time.
 So, on Saturday I decided that in order to try and improve my week I needed to bake something. The weather here has been trying to change to fall the last couple of days, and the mornings have been nice and crisp. It puts me in the mood to pull out a good fall recipe. I turned to a recipe I was given last year about this time. I was visiting my Aunt in Colorado and her sister-in-law made the most amazing cookies I had ever tasted. Being the 'betty' that I am, I just HAD to have the recipe. She was generous enough to share it with me. I haven't made them yet this year and when the recipe popped into my head I knew I had to make them.
I laid out all the ingredients in the order they needed to be added, along with the supplies I would need. I popped my CD into the player and turned the volume all the way up. When Christina Perri's voice started singing my new go-to-song Jar Of Hearts, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and opened my eyes and started my baking. I measured, scooped, poured, cracked, and sprinkled my way through the recipe while I sang along to the song. (paying special attention to the chorus: Who do you think you are running 'round leaving scars - collecting your jar of hearts and tearing love apart - you're gonna catch a cold, from the ice inside your soul - so don't come back for me, don't come back at all.) I was a little nervous that my bad week would turn into a bad recipe, but I showed myself that that was a silly worry. It was a perfect song and a  perfect recipe and the result was a batch of perfect cookies. I felt better afterwards, and that was the point. Now I have some delicious cookies to enjoy and share with my family and friends. Another therapeutic session in the kitchen!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies:

4c flour
2c sugar
1tsp baking soda
2tsp baking powder
2tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice
1tsp salt
1 10oz can pure pumpkin
2tbsp milk
1c oil
1tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 large package milk chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. Makes 4 - 5 dozen cookies.

*my notes*
If you are looking to make them a little healthier you can use 1/2c oil and 1/2c unsweetened applesauce in placement of the 1c oil. Also, 1c sugar and 1c sugar substitute (like Stevia) in placement of the 2c sugar can be used. That is how I made mine today and they taste the same to me as they did when I made them the original way. I also use just a regular bag of milk chocolate chips in an attempt to make them a little healthier. I can only find a 15oz can of pumpkin and I just use the whole thing - if you do not like a strong pumpkin flavor I would just use 3/4 of the can. In my oven 10 minutes is all that is needed for a perfect cookie. They can get really dry if you cook them too long. Happy Baking!! :)


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