Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Super-Soft Pumpkin Cake Cookies

Tis the season of the pumpkin,
the orange guy who is so good for you: good for eyes, skin, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, prevents heart disease as well as tumor growth and has a positive impact on immunity.
Sounds like it's a winner!
But finding recipes for this orb of nutrients is not so easy;
well, besides, you know,
pumpkin pie.

So I set about to find some
because I want my kids to have as much of this healthy fruit as possible.  And I found the most amazing pumpkin cookies!  They are actually supposed to be Pumpkin Whoopee Pies, but my kids and husband,
(okay, me too,)
gobble them up as cookies,
so why bother with the extra fuss (and calories).
  They are super moist and soft and so tasty!  They don't have that strong "pumpkin" taste that so many pumpkin things have, or my kids wouldn't touch them.  They are just some of the best
"healthy cookies" I have ever tasted. 


These neck pumpkins are what I used.  My friend grew them and told me her easy way of getting that edible smooth pumpkin paste:
Cut it in half and in sections to fit on a cookie tray.  Scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp.  

Spray the pan well, then cook cut side down in the oven at 325 - 350 degrees until it gives when you push on the skin (about 45 minutes).
When done and cooled, the pumpkin will peel easily from the skin (which gets tossed) and then throw the pumpkin into a blender or food processor and whir away to make it smooth.

Because I had just cooked my pumpkin, I didn't blend it in this recipe until I had added the ingredients, so it would just mix it all together for me.

(I doubled the recipe, in case your wondering why my amounts look like more than I'm giving directions for.)
So, in a blender (or in a mixing bowl if your pumpkin is already pureed)
put the pumpkin, brown sugar, sour cream, butter, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla.
Whir (or mix) away until it is all smooth...

like this.
(It looks like it's saying, "Oooooo, don't eat me!")

Add the eggs and buttermilk, and mix it up again.

In a separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients:
flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Dump the pumpkin mix into a large bowl and add the dry ingredients.

Gently mix in...

until it looks like this...
  Taste it.  You'll be pleasantly surprised.
At this point, I must admit that I ad just a little sweetener to my liking.  I added about 3 Tbs. of agave syrup,
only because I don't make them as whoopee pies, so they won't have that sweet cream center,
but this recipe was doubled, so you really don't need much, if any.

Scoop dough onto your cookie sheet: it will be mooshy...

is that a word?
  My husband gets on me because he says I make up words
and now our daughter is doing it,

"Daddy, come look out the door; our pasture looks so country-ish."

He turns to me and instructs,
"Adding '-ish' on a word is not correct; if you're going to teach, you need to not ad '-ishes' onto real words."

So I cannot make wishes or use dishes any more.

Okay, yes, sarcasm.  I apologize; where was I...

(By the way, I am hiding in the photo above.  Did you see me?)

...oh, the FUN!

This is where I ad a touch of deceit.  Just a touch.  I ad enticing elements so my kids will be persuaded to TASTE the cookies.  If I yell,
my children are not fully persuaded to be excited yet.
  I've tried to make too many "healthy cookies":
no butter, all wheat flour, added "stuff", less sugar.

So when they come bounding to the table to plain looking cookies, the next question, naturally, is
"What kind of cookies are these?"


Blank looks followed by disappearing under the table.

So, I ad bits of bad stuff to the top of the cookie and the questions are not even asked.  The cookies are eaten in haste.

I have tricked them and gotten the natural chocolate chips from the health food store that use no food coloring, but I was in a pinch this time, and these needed to be used up anyway.
They prefer the M+M ones, of course,
which is fine by me because I love the Reese's Pieces chips by far.
Can you guess which ones go into Mr. Farmer's lunch box?

But he isn't as picky-ish as we are.

I did see a recipe on a blog about home-made chocolate chips here.  I hope to try to make them soon.
It sounds like a project the kids would like to help with.

Just look at this lovely heap of mostly healthy goodness!
But don't let me decide for you...

the proof is on the plate...

...and in their bellies.
(Junior Chef checking out the approximate position of the last M+M on his cookie.)

Here's the recipe:

Super-Soft Pumpkin Cake Cookies

1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter (I actually used half butter and half coconut oil)
2 cups pumpkin (or a 16 oz can of pumpkin)
1 Tbs pumpkin pie spice (or you can use 1 tsp. each of cinnamon and ginger with 1/2 tsp ground cloves)
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
2 Tbs of sweetener of your choice 
3 cups flour (I use 1 1/2 cups whole wheat, 1/2 cup of oatmeal flour, and 1 cup white)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
Mix first 6 ingredients with mixer until smooth.  Add eggs and buttermilk and mix in.  Pour this into a large bowl.  Add sweetener.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Ad some dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix by hand, a little at a time until all is mixed.  Do not over-mix.  Put on cookie sheet and ad candies or sprinkles to tops.  Cook for about 10 minutes; cookie should spring back when touched.  Cool and enjoy.

(If your looking for a no/low fat version of this, you can just use egg whites for the eggs; and I have used applesauce in place of the butter and sour cream, but they weren't quite as tasty; but DEFINITELY worth it, if you're looking for a no-fat cookie!  They were still all eaten up!  Using fat-free sour cream or yogurt in place of the butter is also an option).

This recipe was adapted from one in my favorite dessert cookbooks Cook It Light Desserts by Jeanne Jones

1 comment:

  1. Oh baby, I'm too tried to cook right now but if ya have any left....just toss one my way. These look marvelous! :o)

    God bless I'm cravin' me some cookies!


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