Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes, despite the temperatures, my mind tells me things like, "It's September, it's fall. It's time to bake with spices and apples and all things fall".  And then I feel the sweat running down my face, as I sit in my air conditioned house. Does this only happen to me?  Or are others out there suffering from the same problem?

Last night, as I sat sweating to pieces inside my air conditioned house, my baby told me, "We need some cookies. And we need something fall-like, too. It's time for dessert, momma. Go turn on the oven, it's not hot enough in this house yet".

Fortunately, I had the will-power and insight to ignore this little voice (that was really inside my head), but throughout the evening and into this morning, I could not stop thinking about COOKIES. Two kinds, in particular. On one hand, I was really hankering for something oatmealy...craisins, pecans, oatmeal...chewy. On the other hand, my other half was screaming for pumpkin, fall and all things cinnamon/nutmeg.

I looked for a few recipes I knew about and for a few new ideas. Everything I came across just wasn't working. Finally, I decided I would head in the pumpkin direction. I found a recipe from my Nestle cookbook that had both pumpkin AND oatmeal. Along with 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar. AND no chocolate chips or craisins. So, I devised an alternative loosely based on the recipe before me and LB and I whipped up some delicious, slightly more healthy cookies.  I skipped the icing and personally, really like the slightly sweet cookie with little bursts of sweeter chocolate here and there, along with a nice chewy, cakey, fall tasting cookie!

Here's my altered recipe:
You can see the original here.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup of white whole-wheat flour
2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4c (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup Libby's Solid Pack Pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans(optional)
3/4 cup raisins or craisins (optional)
Decorating icings, NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, candies, raisins and/or nuts (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets.

COMBINE flours, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice,ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in whatever optional stir-ins you choose (I went with just chocolate chips). Use a cookie scooper (or about 2 Tbsp) and drop onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. You can squish them out a bit (as they won't spread out during baking) or just leave them as little mounds.

BAKE for 11-14 minutes (I found 12-13 minutes was just right) or until cookies are firm and lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate with icings, morsels, candies, raisins and/or nuts (I did not do the icing part)

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