I have what can only be described as the world’s most aggressive sweet tooth. Like, I know you think you like desserts, but I would gold medal AND smash the world record in brownie eating if it were an Olympic sport.
I see people stopping at one cookie or one slice of pie or one piece of cheesecake, and honestly, I am dumbfounded, confused, and a little offended by their lack of commitment to the cause. My brain and body just aren’t programmed to moderate sugar intake like that. Just like I wasn’t programmed to have blue eyes or keep my desk clean. It’s part of who I am, and I’ve accepted it.
So as I made the transition to eating a healthier diet, I had to learn a very important lesson in regards to sweets: I had to feed the alligator. That’s a saying my Dad has—feed the alligator—basically, if you repress a desire/wish/need long enough, chances are, it’s going to eventually bubble over, and you’ll overcompensate for delaying gratification for so long.
To keep an alligator from eating you, you have to feed it something. To keep my sweet tooth alligator from killing me with an entire chocolate cake, I have to feed it a slice of chocolate cake. Or in this case a Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookie.
One of my favorite life philosophies is that your environment is easier to change than your behavior. It sounds like a cop out, but it’s the truth. Take shoes for example. You take your shoes off when you get into the door. In theory, you should walk your shoes up to your closet and put them away each day. In reality, you don’t. Is it easier to berate yourself every time you don’t put your shoes away and hope the behavior changes? Or is it better to change your environment so you store your shoes right by your back door? Changing your environment=easy. Changing you=not so easy.
This applies to how I approach eating dessert. Changing my dessert-loving, brownie-pan-devouring, no-will-powering having behavior? Really freaking hard. Changing a cookie recipe to only make a half batch so all I have in the house are a few cookies? Really freaking easy.
I doubt I’ll ever be the person who can walk past a plate of cookies without snatching one (or 12), but I can be the person who only makes small batches of cookies so they aren’t sitting around for days and days asking to be snatched (and before you ask, freezing the extras doesn’t work—frozen cookies/cupcakes/brownies are just as delicious as fresh, trufax).
So, it’s with recipes like these Small Batch Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies that I both feed the alligator and change my environment. I get awesome, homemade cookies that keep the sweet tooth alligator at bay (and I get to bake with my adorable kid), and I only get about eight cookies. They don’t make it through the day, and that’s exactly the way I like it. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the fact that an egg is almost impossible to accurately half for a recipe, I’d probably make this batch even smaller if I could. But this will have to do. The kid gets one cookie (any more and she’ll be up until Tuesday). My husband gets three. And I get four. Because, alligator.Print
Want a batch of Fall cookies but don’t want four dozen kicking around your house? These Small Batch Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies only make eight cookies!
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, cream together the pumpkin puree, butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar using a hand mixer until smooth.
- Add in the egg yolk, vanilla, and molasses. And then mix until smooth. Add in all the remaining ingredients, and mix until just combined.
- Spoon the dough with rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. You should get about 8 cookies.
- Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are just slightly brown and the cookies are just barely set. Do not overbake! Let cool for 1-2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.