White Chocolate is pretty lame. If Chocolate were Vincent Chase, then white chocolate would be Johnny Drama. For those of you who don’t watch Entourage, I’ll make another comparison. If the Beatles were made of chocolate, then Ringo would be white chocolate. For the sake of completion, let’s say that John is unsweetened, George; semisweet, and Paul; milk chocolate.
Let me put the pop culture references aside and examine the bastard child of the cacoa bean on a more basic level. Lacking any cocoa solids, white chocolate instead consists of sugar and cocoa butter—the fatty excess of the cocoa bean. You know how they say Dutch-process on some cocoa? Well, the “processing of cocoa” is essentially the removal of cocoa butter from the cocoa bean. The higher the concentration of cocoa solids, the more bitter the chocolate. Unsweetened baking chocolate is simply 100% cocoa solids. You should keep in mind that half of what you see in stores isn’t even true white chocolate. Look at the labels—Nestlé sells White Morsels, which lack the subtly chocolate flavor imparted by the cocoa butter. These chips are simply sugar and partially hydrogenated oils, no cocoa butter. These cheap imitations tarnish white chocolate’s already-low reputation.
So I’m not a big fan of white chocolate. But I realize that there are times when it can be put to some good use. This pumpkin cookie recipe is one of those times for white chocolate to shine.
Much like bananas, pumpkin helps create a moist baked good. While there are plenty of spices that go with pumpkin–from nutmeg to ginger to allspice—this recipe boldly chooses to go with cardamom, which creates a more unique and full-bodied cookie. Oh, and who can forget the ever-dependable cinnamon! Cinnamon is one of those spices that goes well in virtually every autumnal dish.
The texture and flavor of these cookies make it one of my favorites. And it’s best with white chocolate. It complements the pumpkin and spices so well. Chocolate chips would overpower those subtler flavors, making this recipe one of those few times I’ll pick up whiteys. So without further ado…
Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies (AKA The Pumpkin Blumpkin)
Makes around 36 2.5-inch cookies
2 cup regular flour
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks of salted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ brown sugar, packed
1 cup of cooked pureed pumpkin, canned (unadulterated)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 oz white chocolate chips
2/3 cup of chopped walnuts (OPTIONAL)
1.) Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2.) Combine flour, spices, and baking soda in medium bowl.
3.) In larger bowl, whip softened butter and both sugars until creamy
4.)Whip in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract until well mixed
5.) Gradually beat dry ingredients into the larger bowl
6.) Stir in nuts and chips
7.) Place golf-ball sized globs of dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten them slightly, as the dough won’t spread all too much on its own.
8.) Bake for 11-14 minutes, until sides are golden brown and center is soft. Let cool for two minutes before removing from cookie sheet.