October 17, 2010

October is for Pumpkins!

How can a pumpkin fit inside a cookie? This pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookie somehow holds the secret, with big pumpkin flavor, chewy oats, and sweet bursts of raisins in every soft, yummy bite. The cookie's orange color make them look even more festive and seasonal.

My friend A and I debated the idea of making cookie sandwiches by whipping up a batch of orange zest or cinnamon cream cheese frosting to smother in between them... these cookies are great on their own, but I think cream cheese frosting makes everything better. This would be a perfect way to jazz the cookies up if you're making them for a party or other occasion (see recipe list for cream cheese frosting recipes). She and I decided against it only since we planned to eat a large amount of the cookies straight out of the oven, still hot and fragrant, with big cups of tea.

Fall is wonderful for many reasons, but the unique flavors of the season are the main reason that I love it so much. When October rolls around I'll find any excuse to cook with and eat pumpkin -- they may be pretty in the patch, but they're also delicious in a batch.... of cookies!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: makes approx. 48 cookies. Adapted from "The Very Best Baking" Ingredients: 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margaine, softened 
1 cup packed brown sugar 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling) 
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in raisins and nuts if desired. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and set in centers. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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