A few months ago, my friend Chelsea made these pumpkin cookies that I have not been able to stop thinking about. They were light as air, with a texture that fell between a cookie and a cake. Eating one was like eating a cloud in heaven in the fall. That's how good they were.
So last week, I decided to try to find a recipe in hopes that I would be able to recreate the wonders that Chelsea introduced me to. Of course I found a great recipe on Joy the Baker and decided to go for it.
And I think I hit the nail on the head. These cookies are light, soft, super fluffy, and spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.
Let me tell you something else spectacularly wonderful about these cookies. They are healthy cookies. I hesitate to call things healthy just because they aren't fattening, especially cookies, but these are actually good for you. The pumpkin is a great source of carotenoids, lutein, and xeaxanthin!
I don't know what any of these things are, but I do know that they fight against free radicals! And Pumpkin is high in fiber. No big words needed there.
Often, when I bake, I work out at the same time. Yes, sometimes, instead of going to the gym, I pop in Jillian Michael's No More Trouble Zones, a one-hour, hard core workout that makes you want to cry and vomit at the same time. Jillian uses such wonderful phrases of inspiration like "You should be praying for death" to get you through the workout. I work out 4-5 times a week, running five miles a day and then strength training. The first time I did the video, I was as sore the next day as I was the first time I worked out. Ever.
I do these workouts (while the food is baking, not while I'm mixing and measuring, although I wonder how that would work out) to keep me from gorging on the baked goods that I make. I don't want to ruin all of that hard work by bingeing on 5 cookies. So it helps me keep my will power up.
But I don't need willpower with these cookies. Because of the use of pumpkin, there is not as much of a need for fat. There is only about 1/2 cup of oil in the entire recipe, bringing these bad boys to a grand total of 100 calories per cookie! Throw in some chocolate chips and add about 25 calories a cookie! And one cookie is plenty!
So I dedicate these cookies to Jillian Michaels and her words of inspiration, terrifying as they may be.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies adapted from Joy the Baker
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or corn oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips, or any chip you like
Position a rack in the middle of the oven . Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.
Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Mix in the chips.
Using an ice cream scoop with a 1/4-cup capacity, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart. You could also simply use a 1/4-cup measuring cup if you don’t have a scoop. Use a thin metal spatula to smooth and flatten the rounds.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 16 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool cimpletely.
Dust the cooled cookies lightly with powdered sugar. The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.