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See? I wasn’t kidding about the pumpkin madness.

cooling

How does one run a baking blog and not gain tons of weight?  Answer: bake something, have a little of it, then give the rest of it the heck away!  (and the rest of the time, try to eat on the healthier side…)

For me, this is especially true with cookies as they seem to be both my specialty and my weakness.  When I made Chai-Spiced Snickerdoodles a couple weeks ago, I may or may not have ruined my dinner a few nights in a row because I had no one to give them to.  Definitely should have halved that recipe, or at least put half the dough in the freezer…there’s another idea!

ingredient partay

Being an orchestral musician, symphony concerts are the perfect excuse to bake.  I just bring the cookies backstage with me, and hungry musicians gobble them up during intermission and after the concert!  It really is a win/win situation.

I’ve actually made these cookies for that specific purpose about two years ago, and while delicious, they were extremely soft and cakey, almost to the point of seeming under-baked (they weren’t).  Nobody else seemed to mind!

cooking down pumpkin cooking down pumpkin

Recently, I learned from Kylie about first cooking the pumpkin on the stove to reduce its water content for less-cakey cookies (try her vegan iced pumpkin cookies!).  Brilliant!  Since then, I’ve been planning to bake these oatmeal cookies using that method, and what a difference!  They’re still really soft and a little bit cakey, but the consistency is more like regular oatmeal cookies than the previous batch I made.

adding pumpkin, egg, vanilla
adding the dry ingredients

I love these little cookie dough scoops!  The cookies were the perfect size for sharing with a lot of people.

scooping dough
hot off the press!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from AllRecipes.com

Cooking down the pumpkin takes a bit of time, so I did this step the day before.  If you prefer, you could play around with these and add in cranberries, raisins, and/or walnuts.  I’ve always had a soft spot for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies though, and the chocolate goes really well with the pumpkin and cinnamon.  These babies are seriously addictive…

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin (or about 2 cups pureed pumpkin)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I went with 2 cups!)

Cook the pumpkin puree in a saucepan over medium heat for 30 to 45 minutes or until it has cooked down to 1 cup.  If the pumpkin starts bubbling, turn the heat down, but make sure it’s still steaming.  Set aside to cool, or cover and store in the refrigerator if you’re doing this the day before.  (If you’d rather not reduce the pumpkin, then just use 1 cup of it straight from the can.)

Preheat oven to 350F and line two cookies sheets with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla, and beat well.  Pour in the dry ingredients and beat until thoroughly combined (I added them in about 3 batches rather than all at once).  Mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the cookie sheets.  These cookies don’t spread very much and I was able to get 16 to fit on a standard cookie sheet.  Bake for about 12-14 minutes, or until the edges start turning golden.  Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack, and then store in an airtight container.  I thought these were even better the second day!

This made 7 dozen small cookies.  Seriously.  And they’re all gone!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

(my container that I bought exclusively for concert-cookie-toting purposes ;))

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