A nearly four-year-old mind develops blurry memories. My memories of 1982 B.S. are nothing by sunshine and rainbows. My memories of 1982 A.S. are a bit different.
On October 21, 1982, I listened to my mom tell me the plans we had to make cookies that afternoon were off. The next thing I remember is going to the hospital to visit Mom and my new sister.
1982 Before Sister: sunshine and rainbows. 1982 After Sister: not so much.
The first time I met her, I brought my sister a stuffed frog that my Mom had helped me pick out. It had a squeaker inside it, and I squeezed and squeezed that frog with all my might, but it refused to squeak for her!
I think it’s safe to say not all days were sunshine and rainbows for my sister either. As we grew, our parents bought us matching toy chests. We would play “store” and line the tops of our toy chests with the items we wanted to “sell”. If she didn’t want to buy anything from my “store”, I would make her sit in the toy chest. With the lid closed. And then I would sit on the lid. Poor Laura.
The summer she was 10 and I was 14, I had knee surgery. We were both home from school, and she took care of me while Mom and Dad were at work. Since I couldn’t move about all that well, she gave me a bell to ring in case I needed something. When she left the room, I would listen to her climb to the top of the stairs, and then I would ring the bell “to make sure it worked.” Poor Laura.
It got to the point where our parents made me live above the garage to keep from picking on her.
I’m kidding. But only sort of. My bedroom was located above the garage, but since the garage was attached to the rest of the house, it was just another room.
However, the lack of a heated room below it coupled with a winter wind blowing in from the west created a very cool room in the winter. The below-average temperature required I keep more blankets than average on my bed. As I crawled into bed one night, my sister jumped out from within the pile of blankets. I don’t know that I ever fully recovered from the shock. Poor Me.
I had to ask my mom about the specific type of cookie we were supposed to make on the day my sister joined us. The cookies teed up that day were pumpkin cut-out cookies. I’m not much of a sugar cookie decorator, so today, on my sister’s birthday, I’m celebrating with the best pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
My sister actually gave me the recipe for these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies a few years ago after her mother-in-law shared the recipe with her. They are incredibly easy to make and taste delicious with or without frosting. I make them a few times each fall, and I am always so pleased when I do. Enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
Yield 18 cookies
For the Cookies
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger, optional
1/8 teaspoon clove, optional
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, optional
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
For the Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and optional spices if using together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Cream the shortening and sugar together on medium speed.
- Mix in the pumpkin and egg.
- Slowly add the flour mixture and continue to mix until well combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes.
- When cool, frost if desired.
- To make the frosting, cream the butter and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar.
- Add two tablespoons of the milk and the vanilla and beat at high speed two to three minutes until the frosting is light and smooth. Add the additional tablespoon of milk as needed to thin the frosting.
You can also bake these cookies with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
Photos updated October 15, 2017