More Pumpkin Spice, Why Not?
If you’re tired of the pumpkin spice season already, stick with me. These cookies are the soft, slightly puffy kind, and if you want to, you can make them without the spice. Call them Edible Gourd Chocolate Chip Cookies, for a complete repudiation of the pumpkin spice craze. I get it, my knee-jerk reaction to the proliferation of pumpkin spice flavored products is to mock it mercilessly. Pumpkin Spice Champagne and Pumpkin Spice Q-Tips and Tennis Shoe Inserts can’t be far behind, now that we have the beer and fabric softener sheets.
But I’ve always said, don’t blame a particularly pleasing, traditional blend of perfectly good spices for the atrocities committed in its name. The spice was meant for pie, and then it just kept being applied to everything, like the hot color of the year. So let me be clear, these cookies make much more sense than the Pumpkin Spice Corn Chips On the end cap at your favorite grocery store. These are lovely pumpkin cookies with pumpkin appropriate spices, and some chocolate thrown in for good measure.
I’ve been on the PS front line for some time, with Pumpkin Chili, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin Spice Chips and Salsa, even Pumpkin Spice Buckeye Candies!
Baking Plant Based is a Snap
I’ve done so many recipes with coconut oil in place of butter, I thought this time I’d use a plant based butter stick from the store. I have been having good results with Country Crock Plant Based Buttery Sticks with Olive Oil. They were at the store and I thought I’d give them a try. I’ve used Earth Balance and Miyoko’s and they all work. It makes it easy. Other than that, I didn’t do anything to replace the eggs, other than adding the pumpkin. It does double duty, giving the cookies a lush feel, as well as the famous flavor of pie!
Vegan Sugar and Chocolate
The only other things to watch, if you are keeping strictly vegan, are the sugar and the chocolate. When you buy organic sugars, you can be sure that they are processed without the use of bone char or other animal products. Chocolates that say Vegan on the label will be made with vegan sugars, and also be free of any dairy ingredients.
Pumpkin Spice, ‘Til You Drop
Maybe some day there will be a profound ending for pumpkin spice. A canceling of the flavor, a mass cultural rejection of the whole idea.
Until then, I’ll just keep putting warm spices and orange squash together, and enjoying the heck out of it.
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1/2 cup plant based "butter" sticks
- 1 cup organic brown sugar
- 3/4 cup pumpkin or squash puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 cup mini-chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and reserve.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream the "butter" with brown sugar until fluffy, scraping down and repeating twice. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla-it may appear curdled, that's ok.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Mix the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until smooth, scraping down and mixing until well-combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Scoop 2 tablespoon-sized portions and place on sheet pans, 2 inches apart. Dampen your palms and flatten cookies slightly to 1/2 inch thick.
- Bake for 7 minutes, then reverse the position of the pans and bake for 7 minutes longer. Cool on racks before transferring to an airtight container to store.