November 25, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

After three iterations, I finally feel like I can post this recipe! It is based on the famous Cooks Illustrated browned butter chocolate chip recipe. These cookies are a great way to use up any leftover pumpkin you may have from baking a pie for Thanksgiving. They also happen to be fantastically tasty!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 14 tablespoons butter, separated
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda and spices together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in a light colored sauce pan (you need to see the color of the butter as you brown it) over medium high heat until melted. Continue cooking, stirring or swirling the pan constantly until the butter is a dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma--another 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and pour into a large heatproof bowl. Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into hot browned butter until it has melted.
  4. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Whisk in egg and egg yolk. Whisk in pumpkin until smooth.
  5. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times (this let's the sugars dissolve), until the mixture is thick, smooth and shiny.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until just combined--about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, making sure no flour pockets remain.
  7. Spoon dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies one tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy; the edges will have begun to set, but the centers will be still soft after 10-14 minutes. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking.
  8. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and cool cookies completely before serving.

November 13, 2012

Teriyaki Yams - A Thanksgiving Tradition

My step-sister made these for Thanksgiving on a whim (maybe in 1996) and they have been my FAVORITE ever since. They trump candied yams or things from cans any day - any time.

Unfortunately I cannot find a picture of my work. I will post one after making them this year.  Pictures now included!

Peel a bunch of jewel or garnet yams (the bright orange sweet potatoes). I soak them in cold water before I cut them. This keeps them from oxidizing and discoloring.

Cut them about 3/4 inch thick on a diagonal slice. Par cook by boiling them, just a little, don't let them get soft. Maybe about 5-7 minutes.

Lay them in a glass pan slightly overlapped in nice rows like a tray of cookies.

In a sauce pan, saute:

An inch or three of fresh ginger - grated/finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup olive oil

Don't over cook garlic, so keep heat medium low.


1 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup white wine/sake/other Asian white wine



1/2-1 cup brown sugar
juice from one orange
Zest from half orange


Spice it up with anything you have. Cayenne, red pepper flakes, sriracha, it's all good.

Now, you have to start tasting it. If it's too tart, add more sugar. If it's too sweet, add a bit more vinegar. If it's too salty, add more sugar and/or wine. Have fun. There's really no RIGHT way - it's all about taste.

Once you have the taste right, mix about 2 Tb corn starch in 1/3 cup cold water or chicken stock. slowly add mixture to sauce, cook until thickened.

Pour sauce over sweet potato slices in pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or more until sauce is thick and bubbling and potatoes are slightly brown on edges. I usually cook them at 375. Not too hot or it will scorch the sugar in the sauce.

Hope this works out for you. I promise it will woo many folks into a deep and long-lasting love affair with sweet potatoes.