I’m tempted to steal Rookie magazine’s “Literally the Best Thing Ever” series title for these because it is much more appropriate than “Good Things” a la Martha Stewart. I mean, just look at them! Also, they are tender and slightly cakey without being heavy or too sweet.
As you can see, they are freaking adorable. I’ve been informed by a very knowledgeable source that they’re pretty much bake sale kryptonite. If by kryptonite you mean thing that will sell out and make lots of money for your cause. Because as jack-o-lanterns they are large and you can charge extra for how obviously hand-made they are. Or you can save time and just mix in the chocolate chips and make more of them if you are in a hurry to eat them and are less concerned with the adorableness of your food.
In my experience, these cookies are a sign that I’m having a great time with people I love to see, because they’re a family recipe from some of my favorite people and always bring back memories of all the fun times together we’ve had. And more we should have, since these people now live in opposite directions from me.
So far I’ve made them three times on trips and never at home. Now that I’m putting the recipe here, I can make them anytime, even for my home people! As long as I remember to buy extra pumpkin and stash it away for future use.
Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 15 oz. can pumpkin (~ 1 3/4 cups packed cooked pumpkin)
1 12 oz. bag chocolate chips
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cream sugar and shortening together, then beat in eggs. Sift flour and spices together.
Beat flour mixture and pumpkin into creamed mixture until smooth.
For jack o’ lantern cookies, spread a large spoonful of cookie dough onto greased cookies sheets with a couple inches between each one. They will rise a good bit, so you don’t want them to stick together. They don’t need to be even circles – a little variation will make them more fun as “pumpkins.” Add the chocolate chips to create a face, then stick a slivered almond in the top for the stem. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. It may take longer, depending on how large you make them.
Whenever you’re done making faces, stir the remaining chocolate chips into the rest of the cookie batter and drop them by spoon onto the greased sheets. These can be smaller and closer together. I found they still took about 10 minutes to bake.