October 1, 2015 is National Homemade Cookies Day. As mentioned in my Careers & Homemade Cookies – Three Similarities blog, here is one of my favorite pumpkin cookie recipes.
Raisins, pecans or coconuts can be substituted for the chocolate chips. Since nearly everyone adores chocolate I’d leave them in. If you love raisins, pecans or coconut, and still want to please the chocoholics, reduce the chocolate chips to one cup and add a cup of the other ingredients.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground cloves (use ½ teaspoon if you prefer a stronger taste of clove)
1 can (15 ounce) 100% pure pumpkin (I use Libby’s®)
½ cup vegetable shortening (I use Crisco® Baking Sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
½ cup butterscotch morsels, chopped
1 bag (11.5 ounces) milk or semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 bar (2 ounces) of a 4 ounce Ghirardelli® White Chocolate Premium Baking Bar
Preheat oven to 375°F – rack in center. Grease cookie sheet and cover with parchment paper cut to fit.
Place walnuts in single layer in a heated skillet (medium high heat) on the stove. Do not add cooking spray, oil or butter, there is enough fat in the nuts to keep them from sticking. Stir and shake frequently to prevent burning. Cook until brown and they smell toasted. Pieces will toast in approximately 3 – 5 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and pour into a heatproof bowl. Do not leave in skillet, as they will continue to cook.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
After walnuts have cooled, sprinkle a teaspoon or so of the flour mixture over nuts and stir to coat.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat on low to medium speed with hand mixer, pumpkin and shortening until blended. Add sugar, salt, vanilla, egg and beat until smooth.
Gradually beat in flour mixture until blended.
Stir in walnuts, butterscotch pieces and chocolate chips.
Use a 1 ½ inch diameter cookie scoop to drop scoops of dough onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake approximately 17 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm and tops no longer look wet. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes; remove to wire racks and let cool completely.
Place white chocolate in small resealable plastic bag. Microwave sealed bag 60 seconds at half power. Turn bag over; heat 60 seconds at half power. Knead bag until candy is smooth. All microwaves are different; it may take another 30 seconds more or less at half power. Just don’t heat it too long, chocolate burns easily.
Cut tiny corner off bag; drizzle melted white chocolate over top of approximately half the cooled cookies. Set aside to allow white chocolate to harden.
Yield: Approximately 4 dozen
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