The Ultimate Pumpkin Cookies
Making friends isn't easy. Not when you're 36, in a new town, and have young kids. Three, very demanding and all-consuming, young kids. The days are getting shorter and my to-do list longer. Life is busy. I barely have time to shave my legs, and when I do I'm so distracted I shave the same leg twice, which is really distressing, as I'm part silky-smooth and part grizzly bear.
Brushing my hair (and my teeth), actually leaving the house, being witty and charming, engaging in conversation, I simply don't have the energy. I can barely stay up after I put the kids to bed. And if I can, all I want to do is drown myself in a barrel of raw cookie dough, watch Netflix, and ask my husband about his day and then pretend to care about his answer.
Random side-thought: does Netflix count as friend? It seems to know me really well. I can always pick up right where I left off, it has the best recommendations, and it's so considerate, like when it asks if I'm "still watching?" Of course I'm still watching.
But regardless of my chaotic life and current lack of personal hygiene, I do have things to offer in the friendship arena. And I can't have my only relationship, outside of my husband and children, be with a bag of chocolate chips. Although...
Random side-thought: does a bag of chocolate chips count as a friend? It seems to know me really well...
So, when I was invited to a dinner party with a group of women, to celebrate the coming of Fall, I knew it was time. My social life needed some love and I needed to break up with Netflix. So I dressed up, whipped up some cookie dough and actually baked it, and went out to eat, drink, and be merry with friends. And who knew, it was one of the best nights I've had since moving here.
After a couple glasses of wine, delicious homemade pasta, a couple cookies, and quality time with truly brilliant women, I realized, I'm not the only one who struggles. I'm not the only one with crazy kids and a chaotic schedule. I'm not the only one who's exhausted all the time. I'm not even the only one who debated leaving Netflix. And I'm certainly not the only one seeking friendships. We have different lives, different jobs, different stories, but these women shared my truth.
Turns out, new friends can be just the burst of energy you needed. The next dinner party is already in the works and I can't wait. I may even shave (both) legs.
These Ultimate Pumpkin cookies are a party themselves, making them a perfect party treat. With chunks of white chocolate, spicy pumpkin, nuts and oats, and a warm butterscotch finish, the flavors unfold in layers. Starting light and finishing deep, like a great conversation. And great conversation, with new friends, is exactly what they were shared over.
The Ultimate Pumpkin Cookies
* Makes 24 cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (at high altitude decrease by 1/4 teaspoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 12 tablespoons ( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar (at high altitude decrease by 1 tablespoon)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg (at high altitude add an egg)
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (at high altitude 3/4 cup)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, baking soda, and salt until well mixed. Add the butterscotch chips and continue to pulse until the butterscotch chips are well blended but still have some large pieces remaining. Set mixture aside.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar till light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- On low speed, add the egg and pumpkin. Mix till well combined.
- On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture. Mix till just combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in the oats, white chocolate chips, and walnuts.
- Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
- With an ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto a prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes till lightly browned on the edges. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
- Cookies will keep in an airtight container for 5 days.