Anyone who really knows me, is keenly aware that I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE cookies! With Halloween just days away, and despite what seems to be our endless summer, pumpkins are on my mind.
I also love everything pumpkin: cookies, breads, pancakes, soups…you get the idea. So I was quite pleased to see that my Food Network idol, Giada deLaurentis, featured a Spiced Pumpkin-Raisin Cookie on her Halloween-themed show this week.
This recipe is on the healthier side as far as cookies go. There are no eggs or butter, and she uses raw sugar instead of the yucky white stuff so many of us are attempting to avoid. She also uses raisins instead of chocolate chips. While I like raisins as much as the next person, to me nothing quite beats the divine combination of pumpkin and chocolate, so I’ve used chocolate chips here.
Spiced Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip (or Raisin) Cookies
adapted from Giada at Home
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup raw sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (add 1/4 cup more if using chocolate chips)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins (if substituting with chocolate chips use slightly less)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper or use silpats if you have them.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and allspice. Stir to blend well.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, syrup and vanilla; whisk to blend. Using a flexible rubber spatula, gradually stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips or raisins.
For each cookie, drop 1 generous tablespoon of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the mounds about 1 inch apart (or use a mini ice cream scoop). Using moistened fingertips, flatten each to a 2-inch diameter round. Sprinkle each cookie with a bit more raw sugar (oops, forgot to do this step).
Bake the cookies until brown and a bit firm to the touch, 17 to 20 minutes (was 16 minutes in my oven). Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.
Since the hubs likes cookies nearly as much as me, he was my official taste tester. Overall, he liked these cookies, but felt the chocolate chips kinda overpowered the pumpkin flavor (I agreed). So I definitely recommend either following the original recipe with raisins, or adding a bit more pumpkin and using a bit less than 1/2 cup chocolate chips. It should also be noted that I used bittersweet chocolate chips and they are quite a bit larger than semisweet or milk chocolate, which could have contributed to the underwhelming pumpkin flavor.
Experimenting with recipes is part of the fun. I will definitely try the raisin version next time.
Enjoy, experiment and Happy Halloween!