Tuesday, November 11, 2014
I don't usually bake. Around Christmas time, I go into a one-weekend frenzy, and that's the extent of my cookie baking for the year. I don't know what's gotten into me lately, but I can't put down the whisk and chocolate chips. Also, last week I received the most wonderful care package from my mother in America - chock full of my beloved pumpkin-spice-flavored everything.
I had two packages of pumpkin spice Jello instant pudding mix, and I wanted to use it to make something besides pudding.
Timeout - let me explain American pudding. And let me explain what pudding is over here in England: apparently, it's a general blanket term for dessert. Anything and everything that could be considered the dessert course after a meal, is "pudding".
In America, pudding is a goopy, sweet, custard-y type dessert. It's often in little cups (like yogurt) for lunchboxes. It's pretty much just sugar, milk, and gelatin, and it's great. Especially the pistachio (and pumpkin spice) varieties. (PS - Mom - please make pistachio pudding cake next time I visit).
I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for as I browsed all of the pumpkin spice recipes on Pinterest for inspiration. I knew I wanted to make a cake, or a cookie, and I wanted it to be simple. One bowl, basic ingredients. And, obviously, I wanted it to be pumpkin spice flavored.
So I combined a few easy-to-interpret recipes and, lacking the measuring cups I needed (oh, that's right, everything is measured by weight in recipes over here, so measuring cups aren't a thing), I used a small coffee cup as my measuring device. Even if the measurements aren't spot on, I figure the ratio will be correct. The result? Gooey, chocolatey (optional, but highly recommended), fluffy cookies with a crispy crunchy exterior, and the beloved pumpkin spice flavor. Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner. You're looking for a consistency that's identical to chocolate chip cookie dough when you're done (and not the ready-made packaged kind, that's hard, but the homemade kind... it should be sticky). So, please forgive me if the flour measurement is a little off. I'd start with the 1 1/2 cups in the recipe, and add up to an additional 1/2 cup if needed. The good thing about this recipe is that it should be pretty forgiving on exact measurements, because the pudding should stabilize it a little. So if your cookies are cake-ier or crispier than you'd prefer, you can just adjust the measurements next time you make it.
I'm assuming that the general recipe here would work for any flavor of Jello pudding that you have on hand. I bet plain old vanilla would be great, as would caramel. It's virtually limitless! Knock yourself out. If you're in the UK and you want to get your hands on some Jello instant pudding, check out the American aisle/section at your nearest Tesco's. I know that my local [big] Tesco's has several types at the moment. If not, Amazon is usually a sure bet for hard-to-find American grocery items on this side of the pond.