Fat Cat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Meet Twizz - it is no surprise that her favorite activity is sleeping

I have a very fat cat. Twizz has been on a diet now for about a year and has lost 1 pound! This may not sound like an accomplishment but I guess its like the human version of losing 10 pounds. Recently she started howling in the middle of the night. Worried that she was hurt or something was wrong I hauled her to the vet (not an easy task). Turns out there was nothing wrong, she just doesn’t like her diet and is using the time between midnight and 2am to express her disgust with diet foods. While I don’t entirely blame her, I would get pretty bored if I had to eat the same bland low carb mush every day, I am beginning to understand what it must be like to have a child who won’t sleep through the night. The vet armed me with different techniques to try and determined to sleep through the night without having an 18 pound cat stand on my chest and cry, I am ready to try them all!

I bet by now you are wondering what all of this has to do with pumpkin cookies. One of the vet’s suggestions was to feed Twizz one teaspoon of pumpkin before bed at night. Apparently pumpkin is very high in fiber and a teaspoon is supposed to keep her feeling nice and full. Well after a few days of doling out a teaspoon of pumpkin at a time, I began to crave some pumpkin myself. I also began to wonder how long pumpkin lasts in the fridge (when you are only using a teaspoon a day it take a really long time to go through a can). So began my pumpkin baking adventure. Hope you enjoy my pumpkin cookies! I also don’t know if cookies is the right term for these they are very cakey and are a cross between cookies and mini muffins!

At least now I have a treat to eat when I am up feeding the cat in the middle of the night (and don’t be surprised if you see more pumpkin themed posts in the coming weeks.)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

(makes about 3 dozen cookies)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter – room temperature

2 eggs

2 tsps vanilla

1 cup pumpkin

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinammon

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (or chunks)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time blending in between. Then add the pumpkin and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients. Add to to wet ingredients and mix together by hand until blended. Add the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Cook for 8-10 minutes until set, cool on a wire rack.

"More pumpkin please"


The Snowy Day

I work in an elementary school and teachers speak a special language “picture book.” Anyone who has spent some time in a school or with little kids knows that The Snowy Day is an excellent picture book about what else but a snowy day. We read this book to the kids before the first big snow storm each year (thanks to Mother Nature we have not yet had the opportunity to share this literary gem). We teachers firmly believe just as Apple suggests for everything “there is an app for that” for any given situation, mood or lesson “there is a picture book for that.” We express our feelings with I Love you This Much, celebrate seasons with The Snowy Day, and refer to all of our bad days as Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days!

I woke up giddy this morning planning on spending my Snowy Day doing laundry, cleaning and my favorite snow day activity baking. Despite my excitement, the white stuff failed to fall from the sky. I decided to bake anyway.

Enjoy my snow day Chocolate Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cookies:

1 cup butter – room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
Preheat the oven to 350  degrees
Using a mixer cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add eggs one at a time mixing until combined then add vanilla.
In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients – flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.
Use a tablespoon to drop unto a greased cookie sheet bake for 8 to 10 minutes until set. Cool on a wire rack completely.
I hope that you all enjoy your not so Snowy Day tell me about all The Places You’ll Go today!

Go Big Blue Cookies!

Growing up, black & white cookies were a personal favorite and wonderful treat. I always ate them the same way: a little bit off the vanilla side then the chocolate saving the middle bite with a little bit of each color for last.  It wasn’t until I went to college in Boston that I realized they were a regional favorite. At least the version I was used to.

A friend in my freshman dorm’s family owned a bakery in the North End (Boston’s version of little Italy). I couldn’t get over my fortune upon finding out this information and couldn’t wait to pay a visit and eat some goodies. Now don’t get me wrong, everything I ever ate from Bova’s Bakery was delicious but, you can imagine my disappointment when I ordered what I believed was my old favorite disguised under the name half moon and learned that it was a totally different dessert! Black & white cookies in New England are called Half Moons and they don’t have same hard glazed icing that we  in NYC are accustomed to. Half moons have chocolate and vanilla frosting like you would find on a cake and while still delicious (I am never one to turn down dessert) it is not what I grew up with and came to love. During my four years in Boston while fellow New Yorkers complained about not being able to find quality pizza or bagels I longed for a good black and white cookie. I dealt with this loss by eating cannolies (always from Bova’s and never from Mike’s Pastries).

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I even thought about trying to make this treat. It’s important to note that I hadn’t attempted this recipe again until today. This is due to the amount of work that goes into making them but today is a very special occasion, the Giants are in the super bowl and I needed to make a treat to show my support for Big Blue! By the way, the name is still up for discussion – anything but Black and Blue Cookies, that does not have a good ring to it.

Go Big Blue Cookies:

Cookie Ingredients: 

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups cake flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter (slightly firm)

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp lemon oil

3/4 cup milk

Vanilla Glaze:

3 cups confectioners sugar

4 1/2 tbsp hot milk

1 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

a few drops of lemon oil

blue gel food coloring

Dark Chocolate Glaze”

1 oz unsweetened chocolate

1 oz dark chocolate

2 tspn unsalted butter

2/3 cup confectioners sugar

2 tbsp boiling water

2 tspn light corn syrup

1/2 tspn vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray standard muffin tins with non-stick spray

For the cookie: sift together the flours, baking powder and salt set aside

In the bowl of a mixer using a paddle attachment cream together the butter and eggs until light and fluffy, and the eggs one at a time mixing after each addition, then mix in the vanilla and lemon oil.

Add in the flour mixture in 4 additions alternating with the milk in 3 additions. Start and end with the dry mixture.

Put 2 tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup and cook for 10 minutes until the edges are brown a little and center is set.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Glaze: in a large bowl stir together confectioners sugar, milk, corn syrup, vanilla, and lemon oil. Stir until smooth and pours well – if it is too thick add a little more milk if too thin add more sugar, then add a food coloring a small amount at a time until you get the shade you desire.

To glaze the cookies line the cookies up on the rack side to side. This process is messy and it’s best to put a cookie sheet or plate underneath to catch the icing as it drips off. Use a long offset spatula to mark the halfway point on the cookies. Put the blue icing in a measuring cup with a spout and pour onto the cookies toward the center line letting it drip towards the outer edge.

Chocolate Glaze: heat the chocolate and butter in a double boiler until melted. Add the confectioners sugar and boiling water in alternating additions, stirring between each. Stir in the corn syrup and vanilla until smooth, can use a whisk if sugar is not smooth. Spread onto cookies using the back of a spoon.

***Caution both glazes harden/clump quickly so make the vanilla and glaze immediately then make the chocolate and frost onto the cookies.***

Enjoy and root for the Giants, these are New York style cookies not the half moons the Pats fans will be eating!