Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pumpkin Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Holy its Thanksgiving week! How is it that Fall always seems to pass me by and now it feels like winter practically.  Oh wait now I am just confused...it's 70 degrees outside?!?  Just last week though it was in the 30's though for days.  I just don't know what to do...I mean last week I was all soup with toast for lunch and now I want to be grilling out burgers for dinner and throwing my flip flops on.  It is Thanksgiving week though and this year for the first time I will be spending Thanksgiving with Charles' immediate family, and now my family.  I am super pumped and excited to be contributing some pies this Thanksgiving to the feast. 

To get into the spirit of Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago, as well as to send treats to Charles office I made these pumpkin cranberry white chocolate chip cookies as my first recipe out of Joy the Baker's new cookbook Homemade Decadence.  These cookies were so freaking good and I can't wait to make them again.  They are sift and fluffy with great fall pumpkin flavors and the tart fresh cranberries and white chocolate chips add great depth of flavor.  They would also make some seriously delicious whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting in the middle....hmm maybe next time.  You should definitely give these a try though, because the are SO good!  Enjoy!

Before heading off to Laguna aka my happy place a couple of weeks ago now, I went to my very first Scotch tasting with Charles.  It turns out I kind of like it...wouldn't beat out Bourbon right now, but I don't hate it.

On my 6 a.m. flight to Chicago on my way to Laguna, I woke up just in time to catch the sunrise and then quickly fell back asleep.

And my happy place.  I mean no matter what work has to get done or how stressed you can get its never as bad with a view like this right outside.

Down to these delicious cookies...we are taking this step by step since I was baking on a Sunday.

I started this process with the chopped fresh cranberries.  I like to get my chopping out of the way first.

Then this recipe calls for cooking the pumpkin with the spices to start, which basically just starts the process of making your house smell amazing.

Flour and other dry ingredients get whisked together so they are ready for the pumpkin mixture.

And we are ready.

In good the cranberries and white chocolate chips.

No we are ready to make these.  Two heaping table spoons per cookie or 1 scoop using a 2 inch cookie scoop.

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies: (Recipe from Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg)
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (I didn't have any so I added 1/8 teaspoon all spice)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup packed, light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips

1.  Put racks in the upper third and center of oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (You can do two at a time, but I don't trust my oven to cook evenly so I baked them one sheet at a time.)

2.  In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the pumpkin, butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom (or all spice) and orange zest.  Heat until butter is melted and mixture is warm and fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Remove pan from the heat and let cool slightly.

3.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Once the pumpkin mixture is about room temperature, whisk in the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla extract.  Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture.  Stir well and then fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips.

5.  Spoon the cookie dough, about two heaping tablespoons per cookies, onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about two inches in between each cookie.  Bake until the tops feel firm and cooked through, about 16 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before using a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

6. Optional: Dust the cooled cookies lightly with confectioners' sugar. (I skipped this step and the cookies were still delicious.)  The cookies will keep in an airtight container with parchment paper between the stacked layers, for up to 4 days.

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