Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These cookies are full of pumpkin, spice and chocolate chunks. Just the thing for an after school snack with a glass of cold milk.

Pumpkin cookies

The cookies puff up like pillows in the oven and are super soft and chewy, but with a crisp edge.

Ingredients:
1½ cups soft brown sugar lightly packed
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup vegetable oil
1 extra large egg
2 cups of plain/all-purpose flour
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
1 tsps baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups good quality milk chocolate chunks or chips

pumpkin cookie

Method:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the sugar, pumpkin, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

In another bowl, sieve the flour, spice, baking powder, soda and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and then stir in the chocolate.

Let the mixture chill out for 30 minutes in the fridge, this will help the mixture firm up a little.

Pre-heat the oven to to 180°C/350°F

Using a small ice cream scoop, or a spoon, add equally sized balls of dough onto the sheet. Take care to leave room for the cookies to spread out as they bake. Flatten out the balls a little and bake for 12-15 minutes.

They will puff up and grow as they bake. These are soft and chewy cookies, so don’t over-bake. Leave to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Pumpkin cookie hand

They are lovely warm from the oven, but will get even chewier if you let them sit for a while. This recipe makes around 18 cookies, depending on how big you make them, so make sure you save some for the next day, when the flavours and texture will be even better.

Pumpkin cookie napkin

No Bake Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

This isn’t really shortbread as it has a cookie crumb base like a cheesecake, but its not a tray bake either as its not baked, just assembled and allowed to set.

Malteser Caramel Shortbread

My husband loves caramel shortbread and has been asking for ages for me to make some.

My youngest son William, loves the Malteser topped crunchy traybakes from Costa, so I thought I would combine the two and make them both happy.

I have tried the base made with both Maryland double chocolate chip cookies and Oreos – bashed to smithereens.  The verdict was that the chocolate chip cookies were the preferred base, so this is what I have used here.  Any cookies can be used for the base, including digestive or gingernuts, or you can even bake a proper shortbread base yourself.  This however, is much quicker…!

Ingredients:
Crust:

2 x 100g packs of Maryland Double Chocolate Chip cookies (the purple packet) – crushed
85g butter – melted

Caramel:
1 397 can of Condensed Milk
150g butter
75g Dark Muscovado Sugar
75g Soft Light Brown Sugar

Marbled Chocolate Top:
2 x 100g packs of 70% Good Quality Chocolate – broken into pieces
1 x 100g pack of Good Quality White Chocolate – broken into pieces
1 pack of Maltesers

Prepare a 20cm tin by lining the base and sides with parchment or cling film will also do the job.  The finished squares look best if you use one with square corners

Method:
Mix the crushed cookie crumbs with the melted butter and press into the base of your lined tin.  place in the freezer while you make the caramel.

Melt the butter and sugars together until the sugar has disolved.  Add the condensed milk and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.  The caramel with thicken and turn golden.  Leave for a minute so it cools slightly and then pour onto the waiting cookie crumb base.  This needs to be left to cool completely in order to set before you add the final layer of chocolate.  If you can’t wait, then put it in the freezer.

When your caramel is firm to the touch, place the dark chocolate in the microwave and heat for around 30 seconds before stirring, then keep heating for 10 seconds and stirring until almost melted.  Keep stirring and the residual heat will melt the final few pieces.  Be careful not to burn the chocolate.  You can of course do this in a bowl over simmering water, but I have had more than one batch seize up on me, so I always melt it in the microwave nowadays.  Repeat with the white chocolate.

When the chcolate has cooled a little, pour over the dark chocolate, making sure to coat the whole of the caramel.  Spoon blobs of the white chocolate on the top of the dark chocolate and swirl with a spoon to create a marbled effect.  Place Maltesers in the middle of where your squares will be when you cut them out.

Leave until the chocolate has just set and using a very sharp knife to cut into squares.  I run the knife under very hot water and dry to help go through the chocolate.  you don’t have to go all the way through at this point, its just easier to cut the chocolate at this point.

Leave in the fridge until completely chilled before gently lifting out the parchment or cling film and do your final cut with the knife and cut into individual squares.