July 4th in the Desert

Last night, we had a 4th of July cookout here at Al Ahkawayn. As I made my way over to the tennis courts where we were told to meet at 6 pm, my nose was greeted with the wonderful smell of coals burning on a grill. I was excited at the prospect of a good ol’ American style BBQ, but unfortunately, while the coals were certainly real, the food was not. Okay, it was real food of course, but not what you’d expect on 4th of July! On the grill they had some chicken kebabs, beef kebabs and some big black hunks of meat that looked rather suspicious. I was told that it was liver and having never seen grilled liver before and after having heard so many horror stories about the food here at school this past week, I decided to steer clear. 

Even without the usual hots dogs and hamburgers, we still had lots of watermelon to make up for it, a star spangled banner and some old fashioned (and new) American tunes to keep us going. Some people even started a session on the electric slide!

Moroccans are very proud of the fact that they were the first country to recognize the United States as a new nation when it was created all those many years ago. We were reminded of this fact several times throughout the day by the teachers. I was amazed to learn that this little African country would want to recognize the US so quickly. Apparently, the Moroccan–American Treaty of Friendship is the longest unbroken treaty the United States has with any country. Who knew!!

While it was no New York and we had no fireworks, although some of us pondered starting a bonfire, it was a far cry from last year when I was too sick from chemotherapy to really do anything that monumental except decorate patriotic cupcakes!

One year ago today…

It’s been one year to the day since I heard some pesky nurses whispering about me as I sat in the waiting room at Dr. Krevitt’s office. One year since Charlotte assured me they were just whispering about my awesome vest. One year since I was seated in the doctors office to hear the fateful words – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I think I could tell you every single thing that happened to me on March 8th, 2011 except perhaps for the feeling I had the exact moment that the doctor told me my diagnosis.

After perhaps 30 seconds of what I guess was pure and complete shock, even having a moment of not knowing what Hodgkin’s was, I obviously burst into tears. My next thought was “Oh shit, I’m leaving the country on Thursday!” I think this might have actually been the first thing I said to Dr. Krevitt after I calmed down from my initial outburst of tears. He assured me not to worry and that I could probably still go as it didn’t seem I would have to start treatment right away. In retrospect, it was pretty pathetic that all I could think about in that moment was my ski trip to France and not the fact that I had just been diagnosed with cancer. But alas, clearly my mind works in strange ways.

By a stroke of luck, my Uncle Peter happened to be at a meeting in the neighborhood and was by my side in 20 minutes. Charlotte met me within the hour and by that evening, my dad had flown in from North Carolina to be with me. Another defining moment of that day – seeing perhaps one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life – The Adjustment Bureau. Even though I was clearly in a state of shock that day, I think I was lucid enough to recognize what an awful movie that was. Matt Damon, really? I thought you were better than that.

To say that it was a whirlwind week would be an understatement. Perhaps what I remember most about that week is that after being diagnosed on Tuesday afternoon, I had a surgical biopsy neck on Thursday morning and by Thursday evening I was on a plane to Geneva. I was so lucky to be able to go on my planned spring break, even though I was battling a stomach bug and the side-effects of the post-surgery drugs. Going to the Winter X Games in Europe for a few days erased any remnant of the fact that I was headed back to New York to start chemotherapy.

Chillin’ on the slopes: 

This is the most delicious steak that was never eaten because I was too nauseous: 

These past few days and weeks I have been thinking a lot about those initial weeks after my diagnosis. The scans, the doctors, the hospitals, the thought that I might have a ulceror or a hernia, the incessant questioning as to whether I was pregnant or not (no joke, I was tested more time than I can count!), the chopping off of 15 inches of hair, the surgical cleaning of our apartment to rid it all of germs, and most especially, the people who stood beside me the whole time. There are so many things that happened it’s hard to remember them all, but I do know that I couldn’t have done a single one of those things by myself.

My oncologist – Dr. Moskowitz: A wig party never seemed more appropriate: 

Throughout the past year, I had 12 rounds of chemo, 3 surgeries, 4 PET/CT scans, 80 thousand viles of blood drawn and throughout it all, I always had someone with me. My dad, Charlotte, my uncles, my goofy roommates, my brothers, my step-mom, my friends from near and far, my aunts and cousins, etc… I am so thankful to all the people I had in my life. They helped me through all my fears, all my worries, all my sleepless nights and all my chemo cravings. Most especially to my best friend Charlotte, who was at more chemo treatments, doctors visits, and scans than anyone else. The few times that I showed up to see Dr. Moskowitz without her, he would always inquire as to where she was. I think she heard me complain about my hot flashes and red pee more than most people would like to know. Yes, if you must know, after each chemo treatment, you pee red from the adryamicin in the cocktail of drugs. I myself was always giddy at the prospect of knowing I would pee red 😉

First chemo: Charlotte’s 20th birthday party, a mere 24 hours after my first chemo: The night that eating half a cow was the only right thing to do: 

So what’s changed since last year? Well, quite honestly, so much and not so much all at the same time. I still got to go to France, although a semester late. I couldn’t eat sushi for 6 months, but now I can eat it anytime I want. I got to see Daniel Radcliffe in the flesh, not once but TWICE! I had more than my fair share of chemo brain moments, not even remembering what I’d had for dinner the night before. I can really only laugh at people who complain about nausea now because they really have no idea what true nausea is really like. I was radioactive a few times – ya, no big deal – and somehow managed not to turn green. I still have scar on my chest from where my port was that I like to play off as a shark bite sometimes.

No more hair!! 

Yes, Dan Rad and I had a moment 🙂 Charlotte says I baked this pie. I don’t even remember how I made a lattice top: 

Watch out!!!! 
I still try to live my life like I would have 366 days ago, but I will always have had this experience in my life now. Would I have wished it to have never happened? Obviously. But now that is has, I can’t imagine life any other way. It’s kind of this love hate relationship. On the outside I absolutely hated being a cancer patient, but I learned to accept it and now realize it will always be part of me, even if not outwardly visible. Sure, pulling the cancer card every now and then was nice (I always got the front seat) and somehow people tend to give you nice things when you’re sick (iPad anyone?), but it’s pretty nice to remember that right now, I’m really no different than anyone else. Maybe a few less lymph nodes in my body and this awful baby hair that is to damn soft, but then again, can one really complain about having soft hair?

It’s just so easy…

PS – In case you were wondering, yes, everything from last year was blogged in great detail. Where you might ask? HERE! Check it out if you feel like it 🙂

La Passage du Grand Cerf

I’ve written about the flaneur before – a person who walks the city in order to experience it – and now am genuinely starting to feel like one. I’ve been in Paris for just about 2 months now and no day goes by that I don’t think for at least a few moments of how lucky I am to be able to walk along the streets of this amazing city. I think I can safely say that I’m past the honeymoon phase of my stay here in Paris. I still love it, but I’m feeling more comfortable, more at home, less touristy. I don’t feel the need rush to go out and do everything all at once, which is exactly how I felt when I first arrived. Of course, my to do list is still ten pages long, so if I plan on checking it all off before the end of May, I’d better keep the pace up.

A glass covered arcade in the midst of the busy 2nd arrondisment, La Passage du Grand Cerf transports you back in time to the 19th century, right to the heart of the time when Baudelaire was writing about his famous flaneur. I can only begin to imagine what it must have felt like to walk down this alleyway 200 years ago with the huge arching glass windows letting in so much beautiful light and the abundance of little shops and restaurants that line the way. 

Today, it’s home to some small boutiques, including this amazing one that sells all sorts of knobs. I kind of have this weird obsession with knobs. Last year I spent over 50 dollars at anthropologie buying new knobs for my dresser. It might have something to do with the fact that I want to own everything in the home section of that store. Either way, I spent a solid 15 minutes checking out these ceramic little balls until I realized it was going to be silly for me to buy them as I don’t even have a dresser here to put them on and I have 10 perfectly good knobs waiting for me back at home in New York. They’re still so pretty to look at!

After my stroll through the passage, I took a rest at a cafe right across the road and sat drinking my coffee and gazing at the people who happened to go down through the arcade. It somehow manages to vanish within the busy landscape of present day Paris. Many people didn’t even seem to notice it as they walked down the main drag, while a few happened to turn their head upon seeing the cherry red carpets and stopped to take a peak inside, much like I did.

Recently, I have been coming to grips with how much of a spectacle Paris is. Everything has such intense meaning and importance to the tourists who come to see it, but I often feel that the magic that made Paris so wonderful in the early 20th century has somehow been lost behind all the pomp and pageantry of 21st century Paris. It tries so hard to cater to the many millions of tourists who pass through its borders every year and sometimes the original significance of these places is forgotten. Le Passage du Grand Cerf, to me at least, is a reminder of what the splendor of Paris used to be like, before it became glossed over. Sure, the stores and boutiques are not hundreds of years old like the passage itself, but the archways and windows contain a secret history that only those who search for it will find. So many people come to Paris today and only hit up the big landmarks and sites. While that’s a valuable thing to do, one must go beyond the sheen and find places like Le Passage du Grand Cerf in order to be a true flaneur.

Glacial Paris

It snowed here yesterday. Now to say it “snowed” is a bit of an over statement. It appeared to flurry outside my window for about 20 minutes and then it was over. When I walked outside a few hours later (which was a big mistake given how cold it was) I saw barely any snow on the ground. 

Now, even if the snow didn’t stick, it is still FREEEEEZZINGGG here. I don’t think it has really gotten above 30 degrees since last Wednesday. I even heard on the radio this morning they were worried about power outages because of such a strain on the electrical grid. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that that doesn’t happen! It has reached point, where doing just about anything outside is unbearable and I have taken to rushing home after classes to sit next to my unfortunately placed heater. When I walked into the courtyard at school last week, they had heavily salted the ground in preparation for the ice. 

I know, I know, I really shouldn’t complain. Last year in New York was a perpetual winter wonderland, but something about the cold here, and the heating in apartments makes it seem much worse. I have this heater connected to the wall that gets very hot, but somehow doesn’t manage to heat up the whole apartment unless I keep it on for hours. I’ve taken to sleeping with a sweatshirt and a sweater, many pairs of socks, as my tile floor is the worst when it’s cold, and three blankets. It also doesn’t help to hear that it’s been a balmy 60 degrees in New York and North Carolina while I sit here looking at a -10 degree weather forecast (that’s celsius, which always makes it seem that much worse). 

On Friday, we took a school trip to L’Abbaye de Rouyamount, which was a lovely abbey, but given the cold, and general sickness I have been fighting these past few days, I was unable to thoroughly enjoy the tour. All I could think about the entire time was the fact that I could no longer feel my feet in the slightest. It felt liking walking on glass every time I took a step. I think I have some circulation problems in my toes, because that does not seem normal. *One little nifty tid-bit I did learn while I was there – Pink Floyd performed at the abbey in 1971! Probably a pretty epic concert! 

Even though the tour was not very fun, NYU certainly upped their game by way of the meal we were served. As we approached the tables, it was clear this was going to be a fancy meal – there were three different forks to choose from! As I said, I was still feeling pretty sick, so I wasn’t able to eat everything on my plate, a first for me, but it was still a very enjoyable meal! Obviously, the dessert was the only course I was able to eat in its entirety 😉 Whipped goat cheese with a beat mousse and salad: Fleur de sel veal with baby onion mashed potatoes: Sable cookie with a caramel butter tart topping and salted caramel ice cream: 

La vie d’un flâneur & Le Panthéon

Walking in Paris is so different from walking in NYC. In New York, you’re walking on a grid (which was recently written about here in a great article from the New York Times). I know the NYC grid like the back of my hand. Whenever I need to go somewhere, it takes me just a few moments to orient myself and I’m off in the right direction, easily catching a subway or bus that run strictly up and down or side to side. In Paris, no street is alike. Some wander left, some right, very few are parallel to each other and the countless roundabouts allow for 4, 5 or even 6 roads to all intervene at one spot. The pandemonium of cars at these traffic junctures, in my mind, is one of the most amazing feats of man – to drive in a roundabout where there appear to be no lane markers, yet somehow cars coming in from 8 directions somehow know what to do. Most of the time that is 😉

Obviously I’ve only been here a few days, so everything is new, but there is just something about these streets that leaves the streets of NYC trailing far behind. I love it! It’s so easy to get lost and just wander the main roads and back alleys for hours without ever setting foot in the same place twice. I would definitely consider myself a Baudelairian flaneur. From a paper I wrote sophomore year on what Walter Benjamin had to say about the flaneur, “Benjamin invites the reader to wander the streets of nineteenth century Paris, similar to the way a flâneur might, by discovering the historical, psychological and literary elements that gave the flâneurs so much pleasure during their strolls.”

On one afternoon of wandering the other day, I found myself in front of Rue du Panthéon, right next to, you guessed it, Le Panthéon. On my previous trip to Paris in high school I thought we had hit up practically every single major tourist attraction in the city, but apparently a stop at the Panthéon did not make it onto the itinerary.

At first I was hesitant to pay the entrance fee, as everything in Paris seems expensive to me, but decided I had nothing better to do, so went on in. I serisouly had no idea what this place even was, although it looked mighty grand, like a former palace from the outside. It was well worth the 5 euros, as the inside was pretty magnificent. On another note, it always pays to carry some form of ID around that proves you are under 25, as there are tons of discounts if you know where to look!

What I learned from my visit was that Le Panthéon was originally a church dedicated to St. Genevive that was constructed in the 18th century, right around the time of the French Revolution, but it has since turned into a secular mausoleum where the remains of many famous Frenchmen and women can now be found. The inside is really quite stunning. The huge vaulted domes show off beautiful frescos showcased throughout the cathedral.

Down below in the crypts is the most exciting. I saw the crypts of Voltaire and Rousseau, as well as Victor Hugo and Pierre and Marie Curie. It feels like you are in the underworld of Paris. You’re in a completely stone room that is full of the remains of dead people. A little scary in retrospect, but equally amazing when you realize who the people are who are entombed around you. I’m really glad I went and can now tick off one more historical landmark that I can say I have visited in Paris.

I decided I’d try this nifty little gallery feature to fit more pictures into one post. What do you think?

Perfect Summer Lemonade

New York City in the summer just screams heat! The other day, I was sitting in my bed with sweat beads just falling down my head like nobodies business and I wasn’t even doing anything! The humidity never helps, but luckily NYC doesn’t often get to humid, just incredibly hot hot hot. I have been given the clear by my doctor to go into a pool now, so you know where I’ll be for the next three months. I’m thinking that summer 2011 is going to be another one for the record books, but it’s only the beginning of June, so who knows!

I’ve been trying so hard to drink more water in this heat. I’ve been starting to run again, so that motviates me even more to drink, as I often get some pretty bad headaches if I exercise while dehydrated. But when I want to kick back and enjoy the summer days, there is no better way to do that than with a nice tall glass of fresh lemonade. If you’re used to buying lemonade from the supermarket, stop now. Making your own lemonade can be a little bit tedious, but it’s so worth it. You can make it as sweet or as sour as you like and nothing quite beats fresh squeezed lemons!

When I make lemonade, I just throw together a simple sugar syrup – adding in some basil or mint for a nice herby surprise – throw that in with some fresh lemon juice (and lime if you’d like), a bottle of seltzer, and voila – fresh lemonade! The most difficult part about this whole ordeal is squeezing the lemons, but don’t skimp on store bought stuff. That extra teaspoon of sweat from all your work gives the lemonade that extra boost 😉 You don’t need to add seltzer, nice cold water will work too. I always make mine as a mixture of lemons and limes, but picking one citrus of the other will work perfectly as well. Drop some fresh mint and sliced lemons into your final product for garnish and you are sure to have a crowd pleaser.

FRESH LEMONADE

(Recipe by Me)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups lemon/lime juice (15 or so lemons and limes, depending on size)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • fresh bunch of basil or mint
  • 2-4 cups cold water of seltzer
DIRECTIONS:
1) To make simple syrup, combine water, sugar, and basil or mint (or both) in a sauce pan. Simmer until sugar has dissolved – about 4 to 5 minutes. Allow mixture to cool. Discard herbs.
2) In a large glass measuring cup, squeeze lemons, until you have approximately two cups of juice.
3) In a large pitcher filled with ice, combine lemon juice, simple syrup and water or seltzer.
4) Add some fresh mint and sliced lemons to garnish and serve.

Long forgotten, but still remembered

I must apologize for my lack of updates in the recent months. I’ve had a few recent bumps in the road in terms of my health that have kept me from updating as often as I would have liked (take a look here for more information on that side of my life – http://abvdinnyc.wordpress.com/) I’ve been baking a bit here and there still, but with summer upon us, I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things baking-wise!

Instead of backtracking to find all the recipes I’ve used in the past month, I thought I’d just share some pictures that I have taken of my creations. We’ve had a few birthdays in the apartment, Passover, and the usual baking adventures. I also hosted a baking birthday party for some 6 and 7 year olds along with my roommate. It was loads of fun and if anyone is interested in having a baking party, let me know!  With school over in just a few days, my time will be opened up once again to try some new things this summer!

Coconut brownies made during a ski vacation in Vermont. 

Chocolate cake with caramel butter cream, chocolate ganache, and salted praline for my grandfathers birthday. 

Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for my grandfathers birthday. 

Adventures in juice making with our lovely new juicer. 

Carrot, pineapple, and apple juice made at home. 

Lemon cheesecake cupcakes with glazed blueberry topping for a roomies birthday party. 

The birthday spread. 

The start of the most amazing meal I had while on spring break in France. 

The most perfect steak. 

Leading a six and seven year old baking birthday party. 
A sugar cookie baking adventure at a birthday party. 

Lemon Lime Bars

Sometimes, you have those nights, when it’s 9:30 pm, you want to bake something, but realize that anything you make is going to take almost an hour from start to finish (unless you make 5-minute cake of course). Well, that happened the other night and instead of settling on something that would actually be done in an hour, my roommates and I settled on lemon bars, which may take 10 minutes to bake, but then take another 2 hours to cool down in the fridge. Whoops! Well, we went forward anyway (actually, I didn’t realize they would have to cool for that long until I was half-way through making them, so there was no turning back).

The outcome – expedited by the freezer – was still delicious. I have a hard time in general with custards and this was no exception. I don’t think I let it heat up for long enough, making the lemon custard a little more liquidy than I would have liked, but after baking and freezing, it turned out just fine. I myself, am not the biggest sour lemon eater, but all my roommates, who suck on lemons as a hobby, said that they were the bars had the perfect balance of sweet and sour. I added coconut into the crust as per the recipe. I’m not sure it added anything to the crust, although mine wasn’t sweetned, so perhaps some sweet coconut would have tasted better and added to the texture. They are a delicious lemon lime bar that should be made in advance of any occasion, not in a rush 😉

LEMON LIME BARS

(Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbs dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melter

For the lemon lime filling

  • 11 large egg yolks
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbs grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbs grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

For the crust:

1) Preheat the oven to 3oo°F. Butter the side and bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2) Spread coconut on baking pan. Toast in oven for 7 to 10 minutes until it turns golden brown. Remove from oven, toss the coconut, and return it to over for 3 more minutes.

3) Put the graham cracker crumbs in large bowl, add the toasted coconut and brown sugar, and toss with hand until combined. Add the melted butter.

4) Use hands to combine, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust.

5) Put the crust into the fridge for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Let the crust cool before adding the filling.

For the lemon lime filling:

1) Increase over temperature to 325°F.

2) Whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon and lime zests, and lemon and lime juices in large metal pot. Whisk until combined.

3) Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 180°F on a candy thermometer – about 10 minutes.

4) Remove from heat and whisk in butter and cream. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the cooled crust. Use a rubber spatula to press the curd through the sieve.

5) Make sure the curd is evenly distributed. Tap the pan gently against the counter to make a level layer.

6) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the filling is just set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Wrap the pan in plastic, being sure to not let the plastic touch the filling, and put in fridge for at least two hours.

7) Enjoy 🙂

Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (less if you are using the thinner topping), or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Blue Cheese and Pear

It’s back to school tomorrow! I think right now my biggest fear about going back is that the high temperature for tomorrow is 18 degrees!! That’s insane! It’s cold and snowy now, but that’s just freezing. I’m going to have to put on some major layers to make the 25 minutes trek to my morning class. I don’t have high hopes for the rest of the month for it to get any warmer. The forecast doesn’t seem to want to get much above 30 for the rest of the week. Oh well. I guess I’ll just be doing some more warm baking 🙂

I really wish that I made bread more often. It really is not that difficult if you spend even just a few minutes figuring out what you’re going to be doing. I think I’ll be tacking onto my New Year’s Resolution of baking/posting more to start making more bread. This focaccia pizza seemed like the perfect plunge into bread making territory atsthe focaccia dough was very easy to make and with the added toppings, it was the perfect dinner. I’ve made bread in the past, but never really by myself, so after making this, I think I have given myself a boost of confidence to try and make some more bread in the future.

FOCACCIA WITH CARAMELIZED ONION, BLUE CHEESE AND PEAR

(Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 large Bosc pear, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1) In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and honey and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the oil; let stand for 5 minutes.

2) Stir in the remaining flour and the salt and knead until smooth. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let stand for 1 hour.

3) Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 10 minutes.

4) Preheat the oven to 450°. Oil a 9-by-13 inch rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the sheet and press it down to fit. Dimple the dough all over with your fingers and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let the dough rise until puffed, about 20 minutes.

5) Scatter the onions over the dough. Arrange the pear over the onions and sprinkle with the blue cheese. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the focaccia and bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve.

6) Enjoy 🙂

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

It’s snowing once again in New York. I don’t think it snowed last year for the first time until February and now it only the beginning of January and we’ve already gotten almost 30 inches of snow this winter. Crazy! It’s a good thing I don’t have anywhere to be today, because I don’t plan on leaving the house.

I would love to say that I plan on staying tucked in my bed all day, but given the extreme heater that I have no control over, my room is actually boiling hot, making it necessary that I get out of bed. It’s insane how hot my room gets. It used to be an actual sauna, but the steam seems to have been turned off, thank goodness! No matter the heat in my room, as the idea of cold snow outside still makes me just want to bake.

These cookies pack in a few of my favorite ingredients – pumpkin, oatmeal, and dried cranberries. With the addition of both regular and white chocolate chips, these cookies are a sure crowd pleaser for every taste bud. I didn’t actually have enough of either dark or white chocolate chips, so I just decided to mix them both in instead of just white. I’d say it was a good idea. These were the perfect treat to make on a day stuck indoors. I almost thought I was going to run out of sugar, but luckily had enough, as I would not have been a happy camper going outside just for a cup of sugar.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN OATMEAL COOKIES

(Adapted from Annie’s Eats)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • Dash of allspice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

2) In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt.  Whisk to blend.

3) In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Blend in the egg and vanilla.  Beat in the pumpkin puree until well incorporated.

4) With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Beat in the oats until combined.  With a rubber spatula, fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries until evenly mixed.

5) Drop in small scoops (about 1½-2 tablespoons) onto prepared baking sheets, spaced 2-3 inches apart.

6) Bake 12-14 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned, rotating the sheets halfway through baking.

7) Allow to cool on the sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

8) Enjoy 🙂