Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

photo (23)“Good habits are as addictive as bad habits but, you know, much more rewarding.”    That simple thought may be my lifeline right now, as I consider the extreme parallel- interests my thoughts have taken lately.

School –  Running –  Cooking.

Teaching –  Running –  A Quick and Healthy Meal.

Learning New Curriculum –  Running hours before sunrise –  Breakfast with pumpkins.

Got to get to that stack of grading –  Workout tomorrow – Remember to check the lights on the hydroponics at school – Roast up those pumpkins for cookies.

Welcome to my world.  The only thing that has kept my new work life “balanced” is equally obsessing over my other two loves, running and spending quality time in the kitchen.

Weeks ago now, I know, but as I was leaving my parent’s house the week before Thanksgiving, I was encouraged to take two perfect little pie pumpkins.  I intended to use them for a pumpkin pie.  That week got busy, however, and I pulled out a can instead.  Now, a couple weeks later and already full force into the Christmas season, I am busy pumpkin-ing up meals on a regular basis.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin oatmeal, rosemary roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin risotto, the list goes on.  What I’d really been meaning to re-vamp for months now are amazing pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  They are gluten and dairy-free and even better than the original recipe (less cakey, more cookie-y).  Perfect to share for holiday festivities.  Or just to warm and comfort on a cold December day!

Going back to that, ahem, good habits and balance thing, I know my diet may be a wee bit heavy on the orange veg lately, but I keep saying to myself, “You are balanced.  You have three lovely things to not stop thinking about”.  Enjoy!

photo (22)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, adapted from Culinate
4 oz. coconut oil (1/2 cup)
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
12 1/2 oz. gluten-free flour mix (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
about 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a mixer, beat the coconut oil and sugars until light and fluffy. Stir in the egg, pumpkin, and vanilla extract.
  3. In a medium bowl, weigh out the flour and combine with the xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  4. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Fold in about half a cup of chocolate chips.
  5. Pack a cookie scoop level with dough and drop the dough onto a cookie sheet.  Add a couple chocolate chip pieces to each cookie.  (I DO like a balanced ratio of pumpkin to chocolate, so tend to only add a few to the batter and then add as needed to each cookie.)
  6. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.
 
 
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