My first fall in Washington, D.C. I was incredibly homesick. I remember very vividly the day my parents and I drove up together, with their SUV packed to the brim with all my belongings I would need for the duration of my internship. I was moving in with friends of friends of family who I had never actually met until we showed up on their doorstep. Turns out they had a beautiful historic row house right in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Capitol Hill.
Nick and France would become my “DC parents” and even today they feel like my second family. My first week there, France baked these amazing cookies and brought them upstairs to me with a glass of milk. There was something about the faint pumpkin flavor mixed with warm, gooey chocolate chips that seemed to cure the homesickness. It was early fall, so in DC that meant there was a slight chill in the evenings and the leaves were just starting to change colors. France and I ended up becoming very close, and we still swap recipes. She was kind enough to share her recipe with me, which I have adapted and shared below.
**You can grate nutmeg yourself! You can find whole nutmeg on the baking aisle in most grocery stores. It tends to be a bit pricier, but once you’ve had the freshly grated nutmeg it’s a total game-changer. I use a microplane to grate my nutmeg. Fresh tends to be more potent than the pre-grated.
Every time I bake these cookies I feel like I am back in Nick and France’s kitchen. The next Fall when I was back in Charleston, the care package from them included a batch of these cookies.
I hope these cookies will warm your heart on a cool Fall day, like they do for me.
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)**
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray or cover your pans with parchment paper (love this stuff because it makes clean-up super easy!)
- In a large bowl beat butter till creamy. Add in the sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla and pumpkin.
- In another large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Add in the chips.
- Refrigerate your dough for at least 20 minutes. If you are in a hurry, you can skip this step. However, the cookies will bake thicker and fluffier if you refrigerate the dough before-hand. Usually, I scoop out the dough onto 2 cookie sheets and stash them in the fridge, along with the mixing bowl of remaining dough.
- Use a small ice-cream scooper to scoop the dough and place on cookie sheet. If you do not have an ice-cream scoop just use two tablespoons. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until just barely golden brown. Remove and let them cool on a wire wrack.
- NOTE: These cookies will be cake-like and soft. The secret to keeping them soft and moist is to remove them from the oven before they are completely golden brown. For storing the cookies, be sure and place paper towels or parchment paper between layers; otherwise, the cookies will stick together.