Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

In the summer, much more of my culinary efforts are focused on savory dishes than baking. Starting up the oven is less than appealing in ninety degree heat and there is so much beautiful fresh local fruit available that is delightful on its own or on top of (or in) homemade ice cream. But now that the temperatures have gotten cooler, I'm ready to throw myself back into baking.

I made these for my morning snack at work, so these cookies are not as rich as ones I'd make for dessert, but packed full of dried fruit and whole grains that give me that much-needed mid-morning energy boost. I often have a granola bar for my midmorning snack, but I feel much more satisfied eating something I made myself than just picked up at the store. I always buy granola bars without lots of whole grains, fruits, and nuts and no high fructose corn syrup or preservatives, but even most of the natural brands have more sugar than I really prefer. These are flavorful, but not overly sweet, so they hit that happy spot of treat and healthy snack and give me something to look forward to each day at work (my stomach often loudly growls in anticipation). I used raisins in these cookies because I didn't have enough dried cranberries, but I think either makes a delightful pairing with pumpkin. Next time I make these I'll probably cut back on the dried fruit and add either walnuts or pecans, but for a more indulgent cookie, some good dark chocolate would be most welcome in the delightful little bites. By the same token, you could also replace the pumpkin purée with butternut or acorn squash puree or sweet potato puree for something a little more off the beaten path. Like so many recipes I love, this recipe allows to be as creative as you'd like to be, so go forth and bake up some tasty fall treats!

Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Whole Foods
makes about 3 dozen cookies

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons), softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin purée
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups raisins
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together oats, flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add pumpkin, eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Stir in flour mixture until just combined, and then fold in raisins.

3. Drop cookies by heaping tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets and gently press with fingers to flatten into discs (note that cookies will not spread while baking). Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until lightly browned. If baking two sheets at a time, rotate sheets half way through baking. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Store cookies in an airtight container.

1 comment:

  1. I've been looking for a cookie recipe just like this, since the boys often want a quick mid-morning snack. Thanks for the post!