Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + KitchenAid Stand Mixer + $200 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card Giveaway

I have fond childhood memories of baking chocolate chip cookies with my my mom and sister. When my sister and I saw our mom’s circa 1972 split pea green KitchenAid Stand Mixer come out, we knew we were in for a treat.

The process of helping my mom in the kitchen and being her little helper was almost as good as the cookies we’d bake together.

My dad always knew if my sister and I had been in the kitchen that day helping out as evidenced by the eggshells in his cookies, which we’d proudly present to him and that he’d never turn down. They simply added a delicious crunch.

As a helper, I learned early on not to crank the mixer to high speed immediately after adding the flour. A good way to make my mom mad was to spray her kitchen with flour.

MY OTHER RECIPES

The best part of cookie making came when adding the chocolate chips to the dough.

I’d always sneak a handful of chocolate chips that were supposed to make it into the cookie dough, but made it into my mouth instead.

With this cookie recipe, I wanted to embrace the classic chocolate chip cookie I grew up eating, but also incorporate everyone’s favorite fall ingredient: pumpkin.

Plenty of recipes exist for soft, cake-like, pumpkin whoopie pie cookies, but I wanted these cookies to have the traditional chewiness of a true chocolate chip cookie, but infused with pumpkin.

After testing and experimenting with so many recipes and creating everything from cakey, soft, pumpkin mounds to pumpkin-laced hockey pucks, I finally found the texture and flavor I was in search of with this recipe.

The resulting cookies are soft, tender, light and have just a touch of cakiness, but they are also chewy with some heartiness. Soft pumpkin cookie meets chewy chocolate chip cookie. The edges crisp up and the centers remain pillowy soft.

They’re packed with the warming flavors of fall, including cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, and a dash of molasses.

The chocolate chips pair nicely with the pumpkin and the flavors complement each other so well. Then again, chocolate pairs so well with most anything for me.

A few cook’s notes:

The dough is soft and a bit tacky to work with, courtesy of the pumpkin puree. Pumpkin does a beautiful job of tenderizing baked goods, but it makes the dough a bit sticky. Counteract the stickiness by chilling the dough before scooping it into balls. In my trials, I chilled the dough ranging from 90 minutes to 4 days. The longer the dough is chilled, the easier it is to work with.

Prior to baking, rolling a ball of dough through a cinnamon-sugar mixture not only creates a extra bonus of texture and flavor in the finished cookies, but it does double-duty by taking the edge off some of the dough’s stickiness.

I found the best cookies result from using 1 1/2 tablespoons of well-chilled dough, scooped using a cookie scoop, dredged through cinnamon-sugar, and flattened slightly before baking.

The cookies spread very little while baking and I recommend flattening the dough mounds slightly before baking otherwise the base will cook through and become too well done before the top sets.

The cookies keep beautifully, and paradoxically, get softer over time. The brown sugar and molasses attract moisture from the air so there’s little worry of them drying out.

Then again, I don’t think you’ll have too many extra cookies just lingering around.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen medium-sized cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 tablespoon unsulphered molasses (I use Grandma’s Original)

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground ginger, salt – all optional and to taste

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups Nestle Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Morsels

Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture, for rolling

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and beat on medium-high to high speed for 3 to 4 minutes to cream ingredients; stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg, vanilla, and beat on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, unsulphered molasses (blackstrap molasses may be substituted but it’s bolder and more intense), 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, optional spices, salt, and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. (All spices should be added to taste and use more or less, depending on how robustly-flavored you prefer your cookies. As written, the spices are nicely balanced and the cookies are of average intensity. Adding ginger, additional cinnamon or cloves, will give them a stronger punch and kick, rendering them more like a pumpkin-ginger-spice cookie)

Add the flour, baking soda, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand. Dough will be thick and dense yet soft, and must be refrigerated and chilled before it’s suitable for scooping out and baking off. Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap or transfer dough into an airtight container and refrigerate dough for at least 90 minutes, overnight, or up to four days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking sheets by lining them with Silpat liners, parchment paper, or spray them with cooking spray; set aside. Make the Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture by combining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl and stir to combine; set aside.

Form 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls of dough using a cookie scoop and dredge each ball through the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place balls on baking sheets; cookies spread very little and can be spaced about 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Flatten balls slightly before baking to ensure cookies cook through evenly. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until the edges near the bases of the cookies are golden and set, and tops have just set; cookies will continue to firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for at least 10 minutes before moving them. Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Cookies can be kept vegan by using vegan margarine such as Earth Balance and replacing the egg with a flax egg. Cookies can be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend such as Bob’s Red Mill.

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And now, onto the Giveaway portion of this post. You can enter to win:

a $200 gift card from Williams-Sonoma

and a KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Yes, one lucky person will win both.

The mixer is from the KitchenAid Custom Metallic® Series | Tilt-Head Stand Mixer | Flour Power™ Rating – 9 Cup

It’s a 5-Quart size with a 10-speed Solid State Control

It comes with a flat beater, wire whip, and dough hook

It retails for $649.95

I’m sure I don’t need to sell you on the benefits, workmanship, and high quality nature of a KitchenAid Stand Mixer or twist your arm to pick out $200 worth of items from Williams-Sonoma.

Although Tweets, Facebook mentions, or Pinterest Pins about this post are appreciated, they are not required for entry.

Simply answer the following question by leaving a comment below to enter the giveaway:

Please share a favorite baking memory. (Please be detailed and specific)

Contest ends Monday, October 8, 2012 and winner will be chosen randomly. Open to continental U.S. residents only. Complete contest rules can be found at the bottom of this page.

This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Toll House® Morsels, the perfect special ingredient for all of your family’s favorite treats!

 



820 comments on “Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies + KitchenAid Stand Mixer + $200 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card Giveaway”

  1. my favorite baking memories are when i come home from college for winter break and bake with my mom. i miss her and her cooking SO much when i’m away at school so this time is really special for me. she teaches me her recipes for “thing” cakes, 7-UP cakes, and sweet potato pies. the thing cakes are probably my favorite…we always have to make sure at least one pan does not include pecans since i HATE nuts! my mom knows all of the recipes by heart and i hope one day i will too!

  2. My favorite baking memory is probably baking banana bread with my grandma. We used to make it all the time. She has since passed but I still have her recipe and make it a lot with my mom and always think of her.

  3. My best friend from junior high and I, ever since becoming adults, have always baked Christmas cookies together. It’s just something we do. And since having kids, we have included them in our annual tradition. It’s been so much fun and something we can always count on being a part of our holidays. My friend recently moved 12 hours away and won’t be able to come home for the holidays this year, so I’m really sad that we won’t get to bake our cookies!

  4. My favorite baking memories are always from the Christmas season. I swear, my mom used to make 87 different types of baked goods, mostly cookies, her specialty. We make special sugar cookies in all sorts of holiday shapes — candy canes, Santas, stars, Christmas trees, etc. — and then everybody helps to decorate them. I inevitably end up thoughtfully designing 3 or 4 trays with colorful jimmies while the others splatter a handful of sprinkles on a few cookies and then stand around chatting until the first trays come out to sample…

  5. I have very fond memories of making cut out sugar cookies with my aunt. I was the first niece born into our family so I was quite close to my mom’s little sister. I remember I loved eating the flour. My aunt passed away suddenly and tragically just under 2 years ago and I cherish the memories I have of her…cut out sugar cookies will forever be an aunt Holly thing!

  6. my fave baking memory is from when my aunt came to visit over the holidays (i was probably about 5 or 6) and taught me about snickerdoodles! i had never had one before that visit. i remember loving rolling the balls up and then rolling them in cinnamon-sugar. when they were finished and i tasted one, they became my new favorite cookie! :-)

  7. baking on sundays at my grandmothers house with all the ladies in my family! baking fresh loaves of bread!

  8. A cooking memory I will never forget happened when I was about 12 years old. I was cooking lemon oatmeal cookies and it was the first time I had followed the recipe and baked cookies with no help from my mom. I was so excited and proud until the moment my mom took her first bite and promptly spit it back out. My cookies were so salty they were inedible. It turns out I had added about three times as much salt than the recipe called for. Oops!

  9. Baking my very first cheesecake in my new apartment after I was married. It was a vanilla cheesecake; the recipe came from a newlywed cookbook we got at our wedding and it turned out wonderfully!

  10. My Grandfather was an accomplished chef so the only time my Grandma (who I called Sweetie) went in the kitchen was to bake. As a kid I spent a lot of weekends at Sweetie’s baking cookies and breads. Those are some of my best memories. My favorites were Pumpkin Bread and one we made with strawberry jam. The best memory of all was when I was about 7 and picked a bowl of huckleberries from her front yard. Even though there weren’t very many berries she helped me make a crust and a mini pie. It didn’t taste great but I was so proud of my little pie. :)

  11. My favorite baking memory is making homemade fried apple hand pies with my Nana.

  12. for our first christmas together, i baked cinnamon buns from scratch for my family, and my now husbands family. since then, it’s become a christmas eve tradition. and a wonderful way to spend christmas morning!

  13. My aunt used to make plates of cookies as presents for Christmas. I remember being allowed to pull up a kitchen chair so I could stand on it and help. She had an avocado green Kitchen Aid mixer. My favorite thing to do – besides lick the beaters – was to put the sprinkles and red hots on the cookies as decorations. (Remember those little sprinkle jars with the pink tops?) The favorite cookies we would make were a mixture of peanut butter and corn flakes. Now we live hundreds of miles apart but I still call her each holiday season and we talk while baking cookies together even though we are apart. :)

  14. One of my favorite baking moments was a few weeks ago as I baked homemade biscotti with my kids. Coconut flour was flying everywhere and we were all giggling!

  15. I used to love making this delish almond puff pastry (my grandmas recipe) with me mom. We used to make it every year for my dads birthday.

  16. Recently my friend came over and our sons played together while we baked ALLLL day long. It was so fun and we loved watching our boys play together. We both work together and had the day off on a weekday, so it was fun not working and getting to bake all day.

  17. One of my favorite baking memories is with my friend Lorraine from 6th grade. We were always up to no good, and one day we decided bake a hodge-podge of ingredients we found in the kitchen (including hot sauce and soy sauce) into a “muffin.” We then took a bag of our creation to school to feed to any unsuspecting boys on the playground. Needless to say, these baked treats didn’t make us any new friends…but they sure did give us quite a few laughs!

  18. I think it’s so awesome they had kitchenaid mixers in 1972! And these cookies are absolutely heavenly! I love all the pumpkin recipes out on the blogs today! Great minds think alike :)

    As for my most fondest baking memory – I wish I could say that I remember baking cookies or something with my mom but we never got to do that! We actually never even used the oven. My mom used the oven as storage for her pots and pans!

  19. My favorite memory is being with my mom at the church kitchen. She would make the best peanut brittle and my job was to butter the pans and get all the ingredients ready. After that we would go sell it in front of the local grocery store. What a great time is was to be with my mom and help the church.

  20. Ohmigoodness the addition of cinnamon sugar is genius! I’ll have to try it!

    Favorite baking memory… Perhaps it’s my favorite because I’ve made these cookies for years with my mom… My mom makes FANTASTIC Christmas cookies and an equally fantastic mess in the kitchen. How flour got in places around the kitchen, I will never know. :o) My first time helping was with mini nut roll like cookies, perhaps foldovers? I suppose now that I’m in my late 20’s I should know what they’re called, but to me they’re Jesus cookies. I started calling them Jesus cookies because you put the nut mixture in the middle then pinned up one corner over the other, making what looked like a swaddled Jesus (or at least to a 5 year old haha). Anyways, I remember the mess, the deliciousness, the laughs, and sitting at the table (which is now in my kitchen!) making dozens of them, so happy to get to help in the baking marathon. :o)

  21. My favorite baking memory would have to be my first time “baking”, the Christmas Santa brought me an easy bake oven. I loved that thing, and I thought those were the best sugar cookies and brownies ever!

  22. My favorite baking memory is making whipped shortbread with my mom every Christmas. As simple as the recipe is, we would bake batches for friends and family. It was hard not to sneak a few as we filled the Christmas tins. Even after training as a pastry chef, I still make the shortbread every year to share and indulge myself.

  23. Pingback: Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bars with Chocolate Chunks

  24. I grew up with a mom who was always baking in the kitchen. Between her having 5 kids, and being a professional cake decorator, there was something always going on in the mixer and the stove. My favorite memories would have to be, besides the Christmas baking, was when mom would make baby shower cakes. She would usually decorate sheet cakes with a baby quilt that included things like booties and rattles. When she would finish, she would always make me a pair of icing booties that I could lick off my hand.

  25. My favourite baking memory was with my mother, the first time we made ‘MishMash’. We had tweaked and mashed up 3 different recipes and come up with our own special. Our neighbour suggested the name and that stuck on! It included a vanilla cake and a chocolate cake layer, but with our creativity we ended up with 3 marble cakes that were gooey but not in a good way! That afternoon was fun and error filled. A few more tries resulted in our signature dessert. Following that day every family gathering, that is every other weekend, had to have our creation!

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