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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

Things around here are slowly getting back to normal. Yes, I've only been to work two days out of the past seven. Sure, my train line was washed out and will take weeks to fix. And yeah, BF had to wait in a long line this morning to get gas (it's an odd day, so he could fill up today). I can't complain because so many others are so much worse off.

Since I live in New Jersey and work on Long Island, I wasn't able to get to work last week. The one day I tried it took me four and a half hours to get there in the morning and five and a half hours to get home. Not a recipe for a happy girl. I was forced to work from home. Which, if you're a lab scientist, is very difficult to do. You run out of things to do rather quickly. I spent some of my work hours baking and working out. Between thinking about science and reading literature of course.

I made it to work yesterday in a record breaking tree hours. I have since taken a friend up on their offer to stay at their place on the island until train service becomes tolerable. I've been told that it's okay and encouraged for me to bake while at their house.

It's kind offers like these that I've seen throughout this disaster. Friends, neighbors and strangers helping each other. Humanity really shines when times are tough and people in the tri-state area are looking pretty bright. Stay tough everyone out there, things aren't great right now, but they'll get better.

One Year Ago: Thai Sweet & Sour Chicken
Two Years Ago: Mint Brownies

Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate Chunks
Adapted from Cookies Magazine

After the power came back on, I made these little beauties.  Then I took them on a four and a half hour trip to Long Island and fed my coworkers who still had no power at their homes.  They gobbled up the cookies.  What made the cookies extra special?  We went to a farm for our fall company outing and the pumpkin came from the farm!  Buy your pumpkin puree or make your own!

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into chunks

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Whisk together flours, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.  In a large mixing bowl, or your stand mixer, cream butter and sugars for 3 minutes until fluffy.  Add egg and beat until combined.  Add vanilla and pumpkin.  Slowly add flour to the wet mixture and mix in as much as you can with your mixer.  Mix by hand once it gets too difficult to stir.  Add chocolate chunks and stir to distribute.

Drop 1 tbsp cookie dough onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden brown and set.  Remove from the oven and let cookies cool for 2 minutes on the sheets.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.

How to Roast a Sugar Pumpkin and Make Pumpkin Puree

1. Locate a sugar pumpkin, not a jack-o-lantern pumpkin
2. Preheat oven to 350 F
3. Cut off the stem of the pumpkin
4. Cut pumpkin in half (top to bottom)
5. With a large spoon, scoop out pumpkin seeds and save for later!
5. Place pumpkin, cut side down, on a baking sheet
6. Roast pumpkin for 45-50 minutes (you should be able to pierce the pumpkin with a fork)
7. Remove pumpkin from the oven and flip over.  Let cool for 10 minutes
8. Scoop out pumpkin flesh and transfer to a blender or food processor
9. Process pumpkin until smooth. 
10. Store in the fridge for up to a week
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