It's October, so it's gonna be pumpkin this year (again) It's one of our most popular cookies, however I was hoping we'd have a new flavor to offer, but this year hasn't gone entirely according to plan. I'm looking forward to some new flavors for December and COTM subscribers will be seeing the newest creations first. Plus it gives me the chance to use this picture of CDO Brady dressed as a pumpkin
Our pumpkin ale chocolate chip is always a hit, but I also love it because it's really where we started our relationship with Samuel Adams. Shortly before our launch, I ran into my Fours buddy at The Fours (fingers crossed for the Fours) and let her know that I would be formally launching Top Shelf Cookies and that I was moving into CommonWealth Kitchen in just a few days. She was excited and reminded me that Samuel Adams had a program that she would love to get me involved with to help our business.
Jennifer gave me a couple weeks, but I heard from one of her staff to inquire if I could make 200 pumpkin beer cookies for an event in two days. The order came with the offer that if I wanted to come and serve my cookies at this event at the JP Brewery that I could be there and tell people about Top Shelf Cookies, give out cards etc. I had no recipe and I hadn't actually made a batch of cookies that equalled 200 cookies yet, but I responded that we would be there.
Then, I remembered the promise I had made that morning "I will hangout and watch tv with you tonight and keep my laptop closed" That was probably the first time (and not the last) that I had to break a commitment to someone in the name of Top Shelf. I got home after my part time job and got cracking. I had read this tip recently to omit eggs when using pumpkin, which made sense. All my pumpkin cookies had come out cakey and not chewy like I like to make. So, my mind started racing with possibilities. I put together a pretty good recipe that evening and I did an ingredient run the next morning (at the time I was buying my ingredients mainly at BJ's) and dropped them off at the kitchen before heading to my part time job from 10-3PM. I was not the best employee that day, I worried what the cookies would look like at a larger scale, it was a big customer that I hoped to keep. I walked into the kitchen after work and a buyer from a grocery store chain was in visiting our kitchen and had tried some of my cookies and wanted to talk. I politely declined, I needed to focus on the task at hand. I mixed about 20 lbs of dough and carefully scooped the dough and shoveled it into the oven for the longest 11 minutes of my life.
When they came out, everyone working in the kitchen stopped what they were doing to notice the smell. It was delightful. I was so proud of those cookies and I cooled them down and got them packed up for the event the next day. I was nervous to do this event, but once I got going I chatted as many people up. People enjoyed the cookies and when I drove home from JP that night, I had a lot more confidence in myself to develop recipes quicker.
So, while the beers and names of the pumpkin ale chocolate chip have changed a bit over the years. It's always pumpkin ale reduced into butter, more brown sugar than white sugar, pumpkin with a little vanilla extract, flour, leaveners, pumpkin pie spice and some form of chocolate chip.
It's always one of our top sellers for the year, even though we offer it for a limited time.
I hope that you enjoy this month's cookie of the month. If you haven't joined, but have been meaning to - this is a good month to do so. Starting November 1, we are increasing the price of COTM - but you can lock in the current pricing if you subscribe prior to November 1.
With a grateful heart,
Heather Higgins Yunger
Top Shelf Cookies