Chunkin Punkins

I know what you’re thinking. Chunkin Punkins? Have you gone completely bananas? You never give cutesy names to your cookies. I know, I know. Trust me I know. I think I was going a little bit cray cray today (okay, maybe the past few weeks) and when I was baking today I had the canned pumpkin out next to a bag of chocolate chunks, and I made a “chunkin punkin” joke (to myself) and obviously cracked myself up, and no one was around to tell me I am bananas, so it stuck. Also it sounded better than “Non-Gluten-Free Browned Butter Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies.” Plus I’m a grown ass lady and I can do what I want. Actually, I just saw that on a greeting card.

So I’ve been looking for baking inspiration over the past week. But I’m so deep into this work project, that I’m surprised I manage to get up every day and put pants on. Luckily, I have some fab coworkers who are always there to give me baking inspiration … or try to jedi-mind-trick me into making something they want. Friday afternoon, my coworker Alex told me “I think it’s time to put the cookie back in Cookie Monday.” He makes a good point. I’ve been lazily bringing muffins, crumb cake, and bars on Mondays, but what’s cookie Monday without cookies? And for any of you who are new to this blog, Cookie Monday is when I bring cookies every single Monday morning (yes, every. single. Monday.) to my lovely coworkers so that they eat everything and I don’t end up starring in the episode of “My 800-lb life” where they have to cut me out of my bathroom and load me up on a tractor trailer. I have a highly coveted “cookie distribution list” which is basically just an email I send out alerting the VIPs that the cookies are on my desk with a recipe, but it is blind carbon copied (bcc’d) so that no one knows who is on the list. Some important frequently asked questions I must answer before we move on:

1. Q: How do I get on the cookie list?

A: One does not simply just “get” on the cookie list. If you’re staffed on one of my projects, you’re automatically on the list (for the duration of the project). Or if you are on my good side. Or if you hired me. Or the head of HR. Automatically on the list.

2. Q: Do you really take people off the cookie list?

A. Abso-freakin-lutely. Get on my bad side? See ya never Monday cookie email. Yell at me on a conference call? Buh-bye sugary Monday pick-me-up. Try to talk to me before 8am without free coffee in hand? Try that at your own risk.

So anyways, I think I’ve at least proven over the past few paragraphs that I have gone pretty bananas – but at least it’s entertaining. So back to the Chunkin Punkins. I know I’ve been getting all hipster gluten-free on you lately, so I went back to full-gluten bleached all-purpose flour for these cookies. With Browned Butter. Pulling out all the stops for a real cookie Monday. I browsed the interweb this morning looking at a whole bunch of different pumpkin cookies, but decided just to wing it and make my own recipe up. I’ve been missing the smell of browned butter in my kitchen lately so I needed to work that in as well. So I got out some oats, pumpkin, chocolate chunks and browned butter, closed my eyes and mixed it all up, put it in the oven, and 13 minutes later these bad boys were born.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Step 1: Brown the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Set aside to cool.

Step 2: In a mixer, combine the butter and sugars. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, canned pumpkin and mix well.

Step 3: In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and oats. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet batter and mix on a low  to medium speed until incorporated. IMG_1801

Step 4: Add in the chocolate chunks and mix just until evenly-distributed. Chill the dough for about 30 minutes. This is an important step for browned butter or melted butter recipes. It will help the cookies maintain a better cookie shape. (I just made that up). Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.IMG_1803


Step 5: On a sil-pat or parchment-lined baking sheet, use a medium cookie scoop to place even-size balls of dough on the cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 11-13 minutes. Let the cookies set on the baking sheet for a few minutes when you take them out of the oven before transferring them to a cooling rack.IMG_1807



Probably inappropriate, but a benefit of living alone is I could react like Chunk from The Goonies after trying these. You know, lifting my shirt up and slapping my gut. Again, I ask you — why will no one date me? But for real, these cookies turned out pretty legit. And since summer’s over, my pumpkin game is on. They are not crisp like my regular browned butter cookies, but a little softer and chewy which is a nice consistency with the crunchy oats and chocolate chunks. High five to myself.



Okay, so now that I’ve got you all laughing and in a good mood, I’m going to break some less than pleasant news to some of you all-purpose flour lovers. I think this might be the last gluten-filled recipe you see from me for a while. Well, until I can figure out exactly what is going on with my stomach. But after being gluten (and booze) free for almost a month, eating some of that stuff this weekend – including one of these delicious cookies 🙁 – resulted in some wicked headaches and less than stellar stomach feelings. So while the allergy doctor figures this shiznizzle out, I’m going to try my baking skillz at some gluten-free experimenting. But I think as I proved with last week’s pumpkin gluten-free cranberry muffins, I can make this shit taste good. Real good. So good you will take your flour-baby from home economics and drop that gluten-filled sack right in the trash.

Every time I call my Grandpa (meaning, every day) he always says the same thing on repeat: “So what else is new? What else is new?” So I’m trying to think … what is new this week. More work travel. I’ve regained my ability to pack like an absolute b-o-s-s in my carry-on. I’ve become addicted to Starbucks black iced-tea. I did not eat alone in my rental car this week, so that was good. I actually drove into Chicago Tuesday night (because I work out in the burbs) to meet one of my college friends for dinner, which was a nice reunion. And I am trying to find new interesting plane window instagram shots. This one, not the best quality because JetBlue had that light blinking at the end of the wing that was messing up my lighting (geeze, pilots. Can’t a girl get a good instagram up in the air?) But I was happy to say “see ya nevah” to this view of Chicago last Thursday. photo 1My next trip in an airplane is only a few days away though. But at least Thursday morning I’m flying to …. wait for it … wait for it … DISNEY WORLD. YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH. And that’s all I have to say about that.

After crazy work weeks, the only thing I want to do on the weekends is NOT be on a schedule. So I caught up on my trashy TV Friday night (The Mindy Project and Teen Mom 2, of course) and after spinning Saturday morning went to my favorite spa in Newton for a much needed facial to fix my skin from flying. And then the most perfect afternoon ended up being spent eating Georgetown Cupcakes on a park bench in Boston Common with my friend Ania, talking life and watching people get all of their wedding photos done. We also got 2 free red-velet Cupcakes for some new tv show giveaway or something. (All that registered were the words “free cupcake.”) If I can recreate the Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Fudge Cupcake that I had yesterday, I think my gluten-free mama will officially declare me favorite child forever. (not that we all don’t already know I am.)photo 3

And in the home improvement department, I took my extreme couponing skills to HomeGoods yesterday and scored this perfect mirror for my vanity for $20. Yeah buddy. And then in my very handy DIY moment, I converted the framed shell art into a necklace holder since my mom so nicely detangled all of my necklaces one morning a few weekends ago. The lamp is from target, and so is the ottoman and I just love it all. photo 4

photo 5And with that, it’s time for me to continue combatting my Sunday scaries (which are no bueno today) with a Sex and the City marathon. But I will leave you with this hilarious sign I found on Instagram this week, that made me literally laugh out loud (LLOL) walking down the street yesterday. Ah hipster jokes, they never get old. photo 2