Cookies & Cocoa


October in the Bay Area is, in most years, the best month to enjoy Mediterranean-like weather.  However, this weekend skies were gray and reports of heavy rains are forecasted for the days ahead. It's hot chocolate weather.  However I wanted something sweet alongside that treat.

So while it may come as a surprise to some, that for two years I have tried to replicate a pumpkin-chocolate chip cookie offered at the coffee shop in the little hamlet where I live with no success, I decided to try again.  The taste of this cookie: pumpkin with the hint of allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon  makes it a "seasonal" cookie in that I only eat it in the autumn.

I tried many recipes but they weren't of the cake-like consistency that this version turns out.  It's like a firmer pumpkin muffin.  Perfect for a fall afternoon tea break.

Pumpkin Nut & Chip Cookies

4 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup canned organic pumpkin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour, all purpose
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

3 tspns pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream softened butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer. Beat in, one at a time, pumpkin, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice
and cinnamon together; combine this bowl of ingredients into the into bowl containing pumpkin
batter. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoons onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake on center rack for 15-17 minutes.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Adapted from a recipe from the California Milk Advisory Board.