RECIPE: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I went and bought 3 cans of pumpkin puree from Trader Joe’s a couple weeks ago to celebrate the start of fall.  The scary thing is that most of it is gone already from making caramel-filled pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin coffee cake with maple glaze, and three batches of these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

pumpkin choco cookies 3These cookies are super easy, which is why I make them so often.  They are also really yummy and relatively healthy as far as cookies go.  I modified the recipe from this one.  My recipe cuts down on the sugar and eliminates butter, using healthier oil instead (grapeseed oil or extra light-tasting olive oil). It is also vegan if you use dairy-free chocolate chips 🙂

As a side note, I absolutely love using my kitchen scale for baking, which is why this recipe includes the ingredients by weight. The first reason is that is cuts down on dishes — no need to wash an extra measuring cup because you can just throw the ingredients straight in the bowl.  The second is that it’s more accurate, especially when measuring  ingredients that can get packed down over time, like flour or brown sugar.

Anyways, here is the recipe!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 18-20 cookies
(depending on how much you “taste test” the dough

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons (86g) pumpkin puree
slightly heaped 1/2 cup (110g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil or grapeseed oil (canola would also be fine)
1/2 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper
2. Mix together pumpkin puree, oil, sugar, molasses, and vanilla until smooth
3. In separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and spices
4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mix until combined. Dough will be soft and sticky
5. Fold in chocolate chips
6. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto baking sheet, then flatten each ball of dough slightly with hand
7. Bake for 8 minutes. Cookies will be very soft and puffy, but will firm up and deflate a little as they cool.  The cookie should feel dry to the touch.
8. Cool for 10 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool completely

pumpkin choco cookies 1

Dough ready to go in the oven

pumpkin choco cookies 2

Fresh from the oven, very soft and puffy-looking

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My First 5K

Running a 5K – not a big deal to all you marathoners and triathletes out there.  But for me, it was an accomplishment for a number of reasons:

(1) As of May, I could barely run for longer than 3 minutes at a time on the treadmill.
(2) I did it by myself.
(3) The race was to raise funds and awareness for a cause that I am pretty passionate about.

5K_2

I used to think that people who would pay money in order to run were a little bit off their rockers. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was actually…..fun?  I’m normally not a morning person but the energy and enthusiasm was really infectious.   Plus the morning was crisp and sunny, the course was nice, and there was plenty of people-watching to keep me occupied.  It turns out that time flies when you’re running in a big pack of people with more people on the sidelines cheering for you.  Crossing the finish line was kind of anti-climactic since it was sort of like finishing a regular morning run and I wasn’t really going for speed.  My favorite part was actually the snacking afterwards** – energy drinks, fruit, and protein bars galore.
**one of the reasons why I enjoy donating blood too 😀

5K

Regarding the cause, which was to raise funds to support organizations that fight human trafficking and help victims of trafficking: it is something that is very close to my heart.  I have never personally met any victims, but my heart absolutely breaks just reading the stories and imagining the horror of what they endure.  At this point, I’m still trying to figure out how to get involved beyond donating money and educating myself about the problem of sex trafficking both here in the U.S. and internationally.  This is a really good book, if you’re interested in learning more.  Apparently Sacramento is among the worst cities in the U.S. for its trafficking problem, so there is plenty to be done here.  Here is more information about the organization and its beneficiaries.

So that was my first 5K experience.  I would totally be up for doing another one, and maybe even a 10K someday.  No thanks to anything with the word “marathon” in it 🙂