Monday, October 22, 2018

Soft-Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

 Ok, so, if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I try to stay with the seasons. Every month's recipes usually have a theme, or are geared toward a forthcoming holiday. In other words, I probably wouldn't post a recipe for a big pot of hot soup in the blistering heat of summer, and I don't think I would post something with fresh summer berries around Christmas time, so forth.
 For this recipe, though, I couldn't decide in which category it should be! October is when I always post pumpkin recipes, and December is when I always post cookie recipes... What to do?
 So, I figured I'd post it for pumpkin month, and now you have the option of trying them in either season! Or both! Did you ever realize this much thought goes into a simple blog post? Well, now you know. Yes, I may or may not be overthinking these things, but what can I say.. this is how I usually roll.
 So let's talk about this cookie recipe, shall we?
They're REALLY easy to make, and they were just the thing when I had a little bit of free time and felt like baking something warm and homey. Once again, I turned to one of my favorite baking blogs, Sally's Baking Addiction, and once again, I was thrilled with the final product. These cookies are chewy like a soft baked cookie should be, but they're not cakey, like other pumpkin cookies. They're perfect for your Halloween bash, and just as perfect for your Christmas cookie swap! Why not bake a double batch now, and then freeze one for the holidays?? How perfect is that??
Hope you like 'em!

2 cups + 1 tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup dark molasses
3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups total add-ins (chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, pecans, white chocolate, or a combination)

 Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together. Fold in the oats. Set aside.
Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium size bowl. Whisk in the molasses, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Once combined, whisk in the egg. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and whisk until thick and combined completely. Pour into dry ingredients and gently mix. The dough will be very thick, heavy, and sticky. Keep mixing until just combined, no more. Fold in your add-ins.
Scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets. About 2 or 3 Tablespoons of dough per cookie. Slightly flatten to help the cookies spread in the oven. Do not flatten completely. See my photo above for a visual. If desired, press a few of your add-ins onto the top of the cookie dough balls for looks. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes until very lightly browned on the edges, and still appearing soft in the centers. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets.

SBA Tips:
The cookies' flavor is best on day 2. Cookies remain fresh and soft stored in an airtight container for 10 days. Cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Joey's Tips:
Be sure to measure everything accurately. The required amount of flour is 2 cups plus 1 tbs, so, clearly that indicates that a lot of testing went into developing this recipe, and that THIS was the exact amount needed. I can appreciate that!
The original recipe says that it makes 15-18 large cookies, but I didn't want my cookies to be so large, so I just used a regular cookie scoop for them. I wound up with about 3-4 dozen regular sized cookies. They still baked for about the same time, about 14 minutes. I also didn't cool them completely on the tray. Just let them cool for a few minutes, and then lifted them from parchment to cooling rack, just as I usually do when baking cookies!
I added craisins to mine, but feel free to add anything you like!
Oh, one other thing... whenever I'm baking cookies, I like to just bake one tray at a time. I know it takes longer, but I just can't be bothered with rotating or switching the trays halfway through the baking. And one tray always seems to bake darker than the other. So unless I'm being a cookie factory at Christmas time, it really doesn't take too long to just do one at a time.

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