I signed up for the Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap this year with Julie from White Lights on Wednesday. She’s paired up with Rachel from I Love My Disorganized Life and Stacey and Aubrey over at Real House Moms this year.
It’s a pretty cool swap. You sign up near the end of November, and Julie will pair you up with a fellow blogger/baker. Then you swap cookie recipes and make a batch of each other’s cookies from the recipe they sent you. I never can explain stuff right. It’s best just to head on over there and read about it yourself.
The good part about this, is you don’t have to be blogger. You don’t have to bake and ship and you don’t have to be in the States. You just need to have an email address and access to an oven and various baking tools. It’s truly open to anyone and everyone who wants to participate.
Sadly, I received Kellene’s information in the middle of giving birth to yet ANOTHER Colombia spreadsheet. I told my boss from here on out I will be giving them names like they are my children. They exhaust me to no end and I was actually the one falling asleep around 8 every night that week. Luckily for me, Kellene contacted me and I was able to get her recipe (I gave her a choice, actually) out to her shortly.
Now…the one she sent me? YUMMY
Kellene used to blog over at Food to Make Your Mouth Water, but has taken a break for the last two years or so. I do hope she can find the mojo to start blogging again. She has some pretty good recipes on her blog. BUT you don’t have to be a blogger to participate in this recipe swap. I’m just excited to see which recipe she chose and how they came out.
I almost vowed to never make another pumpkin anything again until next year. *snort* I would have missed out greatly. These babies are TAST-Y! The pumpkin is just enough but not overpowering so you don’t taste the chips. Since I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate chips, I opted of the semi-sweet kind. I also added 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, but stuck to the recipe for everything else.
Why ginger? Well, because I was grinding up a huge batch of spices for my holiday baking and it just smelled so yummy!! How could I say no to that pungently tasty beige powder? It was just dying to mingle with the cinnamon and allspice to enhance these babies just a tiny bit more.
Confession time. I am a spice snob. No, seriously. I DO NOT buy pre-ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc. I buy them whole and grind them fresh before I use them. Nutmeg, allspice, cardamom. All those spices. I wish I could have fresh herbs, too, but that would require a rather large garden and then a drying room. Maybe when we get a house. *shrugs*
Since it was doing this outside, I thought it would be the perfect time to whip up a batch of these cookies.
The recipe is easy and I had almost everything in the pantry. I don’t usually keep craisins, but I grabbed a bag while grocery shopping the previous weekend so I could bake a batch. It took no time at all to make the dough. It took me a while to bake them because I was being lazy and only using one pan. I wasn’t in a hurry. There wasn’t much to do on my snow day off. Well, there was but I wasn’t in the mood to clean. I gotta psych myself up for that on a known day off. Yes. I know I’m weird.
It was awfully difficult NOT to devour the whole pan when they came out of the oven. The pumpkin and spices with chocolate chips? YUM! I restrained myself and only ate three. Yes. One for each batch that went into the oven to bake. I had to taste each batch and make sure they weren’t under or over cooked. You’d do the same, right?
When S came home, he had one, too. And they have made the cut, so they stay here instead of me taking them in to work. I took a few in to work to photograph. I have really nice light there. Most of my baked goods are photographed there. This apartment? Well, there is almost NO ambient light; at least not until 10 or 11 am and it lasts until about 3 maybe? Yeah, very little light. And there isn’t much room for a proper “studio” type setting. Consequently, I lost 2 cookies that day. One to my mouth and one to a co-worker. Seriously. They’re THAT good. You should make a batch.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup margarine, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup egg substitute
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Mix dry ingredients first eight ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl until just combined and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream margarine and the sugars until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract; stir until combined. Add pumpkin and mix again until combined, making sure to scrape the sides of bowl as necessary.
- Add dry ingredients; stirring until just combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Drop by tablespoons onto an un-greased baking sheet, or one lined with a silpat baking mat, two inches apart. Bake at 325 for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly browned around the edges.
- Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.