It's fall, which means it's time to use the oven again! In fact, this is my second baking post in a row, which is quite a record. (I am usually a cooker, not a baker.) Fall also means a welcome onslaught of pumpkin desserts. I am a fan of incorporating tons of this healthy canned veggie into anything I can think of. Just look at my pasta with pumpkin cream sauce or my three-ingredient whoopie pies. Problem is, most pumpkin breads and cookies are mostly flour and sugar, with just a token amount of pumpkin. I set out to make a healthy pumpkin cookie that was more veggie than any other ingredient. My confidence came from my knowledge that a whole can of pumpkin mixed with a box of cake mix will substitute for the eggs, oil, and water that is usually required to make a deliciously moist, fat-free dessert. I looked up some pumpkin cookie recipes online and substituted in more pumpkin for the butter or oil that were normally called for. Then I added even more.
What you have here is a delicious, rich-tasting, moist, and slightly muffinlike cookie. It's a delicious way to get your veggies with dessert, or it could be a breakfast cookie--a portable way to get your oatmeal and a serving of veggies in the morning! My husband even likes them, and he is usually wary of pumpkin-related things.
UPDATE: When I first posted these in 2011, I used to make these cookies using juice or milk instead of oil. I have now decided that I prefer the texture when using a small amount of healthy oil or nut butter, which changes from a bit gummy in the middle to richer and creamier. Try it out and see which you like better. This recipe is very flexible!
Super-Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup (130 g) oat flour (or just whizz some oats in a food processor until flour-like. Measure AFTER grinding) or whole wheat flour
1 cup (100 g) old fashioned oats
2 t baking powder
1 cup sweetener of choice (sugar, brown sugar, Splenda, etc)
1 T ground flax or 1 egg
2 t cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1/8 t salt
handful dried fruit, nuts, and/or seeds (optional). I like dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds)
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup milk, water, juice, oil (e.g. olive, coconut), or nut butter of choice (e.g. almond, cashew)
1 t vanilla
Preheat oven to 375. Mix dry ingredients and add wet. Mixture will be very thick. Drop by the spoonful onto greased cookie sheet. Bake approximately 25 minutes, until center is solid but moist. Makes about 20 cookies.