Thanksgiving baking

In lieu of sharing yet another chocolate chip cookie recipe (I know you’re getting sick of them, but I still have four waiting to be posted), I’m going to rewind the clock a little and write about the cookies I made for Thanksgiving. Because I flew up to San Francisco to visit my brother that Thursday morning I wasn’t able to contribute to any of the major components of Thanksgiving dinner. However I set aside some space in my suitcase to bring something with me from home. Originally I planned to make pumpkin bread and maybe some kind of pound cake to add to the dessert spread, but then I realized that transporting cookies, especially in bar form like I usually make, would be infinitely easier. That was perfect because, as usual, I had a long list of cookie recipes that I was dying to try! Here are the ones that made the cut for Thanksgiving:

1) Pumpkin snickerdoodle bars – Pumpkin desserts are perfect for Thanksgiving and these pumpkin snickerdoodles were delicious. The texture didn’t exactly say “cookie” to me, though. More like cake (adding pumpkin to baked goods does that), but they tasted great and everyone loved them.
2) Gingersnap cookie bars – These cookie bars were very interesting and definitely seasonally appropriate. The original recipe said to bake them in a 10×15″ jelly roll pan, but I didn’t think there was enough dough for that so I used a 9×13″ pan instead and the cookies still turned out pretty thin. But they were dense, chewy, and flavorful. Not my favorite, but still good.
3) Maple chocolate chip cookie bars (w/maple syrup) – OK, so maybe I am going to write a little bit about chocolate chip cookies in this post. I just can’t help it! After the success of my first batch of maple chocolate chip cookies (i.e., recipe #20) I wanted to try this one with maple syrup rather than extract. These cookies were pretty tasty, but not as good as the others. They were still well received, though. Stay tuned for more details in recipe #21 later this week.
4) Red velvet pudding cookie bars – These cookies were spectacular. The first batch of red velvet chocolate chip cookies I made back in October were just so-so, but these were amazing. The secret ingredient is a box of instant chocolate pudding mix (plus red food coloring for looks). These were the hands-down favorite Thanksgiving cookie. I will definitely be making them again.

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