Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate Cookies

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Pumpkin cookies let’s go. But not those cakey pumpkin cookies with the icing. I can’t with those. These are dense yet fluffy, soft and chewy, but crunchy with the addition of pecans.

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With a light pumpkin taste, but a heavy spice flavor, these Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate cookies are everything I want in a “pumpkin cookie.”

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Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate Cookies
yields 30-32 cookies

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips (you can substitute for chocolate chips, or seasonal pumpkin chips and cinnamon chips)
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. About 1 minute. Add in both sugars and beat on medium for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. On low, stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract until combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once the dough has almost come together, but still a little floury, add the pecans and white chocolate chips.

*I roughly chop my white chocolate chips (just like in my Perfect CCCs). It lends to a prettier, but more rustic looking cookie which I love.

Using a 1 ½ inch cookie scoop, form golf ball size balls of dough. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Do not overcrowd the pans. I got 12 balls of dough on a pan, at most. Rough the cookies up a bit so they have pecans and white choclate peeking out. Add a few more of each to the top of the cookies if needed. Optional, sprinkle the top of each cookie with flaky Maldon salt.

Bake for 9 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through. Bake until just barely golden around the edges, the key is to not over bake these! Shy on the underdone side.

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Annie

Bites of My Life

Read, eat, workout, work, more work, staycation post-vacation, and the first of the Halloween celebrations. Keep reading if you want the details of my lazy recap sentence.

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-My current lineup. Boom Town, Hey Ladies, and Bread & Wine (for the second time). I’m struggling to get through Boom Town and Hey Ladies so I added in one of my faves to help re-inspire my reading.
-This healthy little tostada stack was actually the victim of a clean out the fridge meal. Crisp 2 Siete tortillas in a little coconut oil. Top each with smashed black beans and some almond milk cheese. Stack the two tortillas and heat in the oven to melt the cheese. Top with tomato, chopped bell pepper, some lettuce, more cheese and salsa.
-After work walk with my best girl!
-One of my favorite events of the year is the chili cook-off that happens downtown OKC every year. Haggled The Jones Assembly into participating this year. We didn’t take a win, but getting to sample multiple chilis for lunch was worth it!
-Checked-in to the Avid and immediately checked out the snack selection. Props to Avid for the great snack options and complimentary chocolate bar.
-Fun little staycation Friday night. More on this coming later this week.
-French toast!
-A batch of Pumpkin Bread to kick off the holiday baking season.

Annie

Web bite: Need a last minute Halloween costume idea? Here’s three!

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Cookies

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Forget September 22, the day after Labor Day marks the start of fall in mine and most people's minds. I was at Whole Foods the other night and pumpkins are already out, the PSL made it's seasonal debut, and I am unapologetically sharing my first pumpkin recipe of the fall!

This recipe doesn't scream pumpkin but it does scream fall. Pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and the secret ingredient, paprika, makes for a kickin' cookie (I had to). I originally made these a few weeks ago and everyone who tried them deemed that they must be remade once cooler weather crept in. Hello cooler weather, hello double chocolate pumpkin seed cookies!

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Double Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Cookies
yields about 32 medium cookies or 18 large cookies, adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. paprika
1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
1⅓ cups granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup dark chocolate (you can use chips or buy a bar of dark chocolate and chop it up)
Maldon salt

Directions:
Place your pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and place on the upper rack of the oven. Then heat your oven to 350°. This is the best trick my mom taught me. Nuts and seeds brown perfectly in the same amount it takes for your oven to preheat. (About  8–10 minutes). Toss occasionally until golden. Let cool.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and paprika in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing until well blended after each. Stir in chocolate and pumpkin seeds.

If you want medium cookies use a cookie scoop (about 2 Tbsp.) if you want large cookies use an ice cream scoop (about 1/4 cup). Large cookies will be more bakery style, but for portion control reasons I go medium size. You can see both sizes pictured below. Place large cookies 3" apart and medium cookies 2" apart. Sprinkle with flakey Maldon salt and bake, rotating pans halfway through. 17–20 minutes for large cookies, 9-11 minutes for medium cookies. 

Happy pumpkin baking!

Annie

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread, there's nothing better. Pumpkin bread is the quintessential pumpkin food. It's been around waaaaay longer than PSLs, pumpkin spice puppy chow, pumpkin protein bars, pumpkin spice cookie butter and all the other commercialized pumpkin foods. 

This time of year makes me nostalgic for old family recipes. With the holidays coming up, I've been digging through my mom's recipe binder to resurface some of my favorites like her ginger cookies, sausage tortellini soup (more on that later this week) and this pumpkin bread. It's the best darn pumpkin bread around and deserves to be shared. 

I baked up eight, count 'em, eight loaves this weekend. Six of them were sent off to be used as gifts, but two are taking home in my freezer to be pulled out when the pumpkin bread hunger strikes! It took a few loads into my KitchenAid to complete all the bowls of batter, but well worth it, that is my kind of therapy. Follow below to snatch this family tested, Annie trusted and fall approved recipe!

Pumpkin Bread
yields 2, 9 inch loaves or 3, 8 inch loves

Ingredients:
2/3 cup shortening
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1, 15oz can pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsps. baking soda
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
2/3 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Generously grease and flour 2, 9 inch or 3, 8 inch loaf pans and set aside.

Cream shortening, gradually add sugar beating well. Add eggs, mix well. Stir in pumpkin and water.

Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Fold in nuts, reserving a few. Spoon into loaf pans. Top with extra pecans. If using 8 inch pans bake for 55 minutes, 9 inch pans will bake 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the toothpick trick comes out clean.

What's your favorite pumpkin recipe? Mine 100% is this bread!

Annie

Bites of My Life

Winding down from a weekend I don't want to end. Nothing crazy happened and that's exactly why it was so great. Started with a solo sesh dinner, just me, my book and my you-pick-two then joined some friends for Girl on The Train. I didn't read the book which consensus says was a good thing; left for more suspense during the movie. 

Saturday woke up for breakfast and barre with Lindsay then football and bowling with friends. Ended the day making loaves of pumpkin bread and settling into the couch for a triple feature of You've Got Mail, Friends With Benefits and A Walk to Remember. 

Today consisted of the new season of Barefoot Contessa starting, a neighborhood kitchen tour, trip to Trader Joe's, walk with my mom, and a delicious dinner cooked not by me, but for me. A weekend of r&r that I want to repeat ASAP!

-New fav snack: handful of TJ's semi-dried frozen figs microwaved for 20 seconds with AB and CB drizzled on top.
-Celebrated the amazing company I work for with killer views and tasty treats. 
-Cheers to The Social Order Dining Collective being offish!
-I love sneaking over to my parent's house for lunch. Even when my mom thinks there is nothing in the fridge I feel like it's always full with the best goods. 
-Shared my go to work week lunch last week, did you catch the post? Another one of last week's posts here.
-Recipe test round one of Carrot Pecan Muffins. First round came out good, but I'm still perfecting the recipe.
-A perfect delivery of Perfect Bars. I'm a Perfect Bar virgin and can't wait to try these! 
-I hadn't had Panera in about a year and the craving came on strong. Pulled up a table for one before joining my friends at Girl on The Train. 
-Saturday gameday went from football to bowling with a gameday brat on the side. 
-No better smell than loaves of pumpkin bread baking in the oven. Made a huge batch of my mom's pumpkin bread this weekend, recipe will be shared this week!
-The dreamiest pantry in one of the houses on the Nichols Hills Kitchen Tour.
-When you and your UT roommate make a bet on the OU/Texas game and you come out the winner! Bet was if Texas lost, Lindsay had to make me dinner, if OU lost...well we don't need to go there. 

Annie