pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies: a series

From appearances, this may look like another successful baking experiment. But appearances can be deceiving.
My closest friends can tell you about my obsession with pumpkin, and more specifically, perfectly crunchy, chewy pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies. A bakery in town used to make the absolute perfect specimen: 5 inches in diameter, crispy around the edges and top, yet chewy chewy in the center. I ate a whole one nearly every time I was there, stomachache be darned. I never got around asking them how they made these wonders, even though at the time I had already had a few failed attempts to recreate them. And the urgency wasn't there....after all, they'd always be there for the purchasing, right?
Wrong. Out of business. Without ever releasing their secret recipe.
If you've ever tried to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, you know that most often (using canned pumpkin) they turn out cake like. Soft. If you're lucky there's a bit of a crunch around the side, but always cakey.
So I spend the better part of every fall wasting a lot of chocolate, flour, and butter trying to figure this out. I've consulted experts. I've read up. I've combed the internet...disappointments all.
They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing...today I set out to try again now that October is on us. Oh, I thought, I'll just up the sugar and fat (butter) and drain the pumpkin and voila...perfect cookies. So I let the pumpkin drain for about a half day over cheesecloth (which did let out about a CUP of liquid!). So I changed the proportions, even starting with the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever.
The results? Probably my best attempt yet, but still totally lacking. Crunchy, a bit. I could tell they were trying. But still cakey, and not nearly enough pumpkiny zing.
Don't worry. I'm determined to get this right, for pumpkin cookie lovers everywhere. The quest continues...

Marti KilpatrickComment