cookies

Soft Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Soft Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

One rainy, cold October day I found myself with a jar leftover pumpkin puree and a hankering for some fresh baked cookies. What cookie combo is more warming than rich molasses, spicy ginger and warming cinnamon?

This recipe uses simple ingredients that you probably already have AND all you need is one bowl! You’d never guess that they’re gluten and dairy-free!

The combination of pumpkin puree, almond meal and a touch of coconut oil makes these cookies super soft and moist. The molasses and coconut sugar add the perfect amount of sweetness to bring out the warming spices.

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Is molasses good for you?

Yes! Molasses is one of my favorite sweeteners because of it’s earthy, sweet, robust flavor. I always opt for blackstrap molasses because it has a much higher concentration of minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium compared to light and dark molasses. It also has a much lower glycemic index than most sweeteners, so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as much.

How Do I Make Oat Flour?

Easy! Just put some rolled oats in a blender or food processor and process until it turns into a fine flour. I like to make a big batch and keep it on hand in my pantry for baking.

Can you substitute banana for pumpkin?

Most recipes that call for pumpkin puree can be substituted with banana. Just keep in mind the banana will add more sweetness, so you might want to cut back on the sugar.

What makes a soft cookie?

In general, soft-baked cookies tend to have more moisture and are baked at a lower temperature. Most soft or chewy cookies use more brown sugar or molasses as a sweetener because it contains more water/moisture than cane sugar. Using ingredients like pumpkin or banana will make a cookie softer because it also adds a lot of moisture.

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Soft Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Makes about 14 cookies

Ingredients:
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup blackstrap molasses
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup almond meal
1 cup oat flour
2 tbsp coconut sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, molasses, coconut oil, vanilla and egg. Add the almond meal, oat flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda and salt. Stir the batter until everything is thoroughly combined.

Scoop the dough in heaping spoonfuls onto the baking sheet . Use your hands to flatten them out as best you can until about 1/4-inch thick.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until the cookies feel slightly firm and the bottoms are golden.

Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Soft Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

  1. Make sure you flatten the cookies to about 1/4 inch thick. It helps to use wet hands so the batter doesn’t stick to your fingers!

  2. Substitute banana for the pumpkin if you’ve gotten overripe bananas on hand.

  3. Nut allergy? Try substituting the almond flour with 1 cup oat flour and increasing the coconut oil to 3 tablespoons or more until the dough is moist enough.

  4. To make vegan, substitute one flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water, let sit for 10 minutes).

  5. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Maple Oat Cookies

Maple Oat Cookies

The most simple, delicious and healthy oat cookies EVER! It only takes 5 minutes to make the batter, 8-10 minutes in the oven AND uses only 5 ingredients that you probably already have! Bake them until the edges just start to turn golden brown, let them cool and then bite into the crispy edges and soft, maple oat center.

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I thought these up as I was enjoying  a rhubarb crumble at home and straight up eating the crumble topping with a spoon hoping no one would notice. There's no way I'm the only one who does this, it's the best part! I honestly believe that the ratio of crumble to filling should be about 2:1...maybe 3:1. 

How do you make your own almond meal?

I never buy almond flour anymore ever since I tried making it myself. All you need is a blender or food processor and some almonds. Pulse until a fine meal starts to form. 

What's the difference between almond flour and almond meal?

Almond flour is usually finer than almond meal and generally uses blanched almonds, meaning almonds that have been flash cooked so that the skins come off. Almond meal is the whole almond, giving you way more nutrition and fiber.

What can I use to replace almond flour for a nut allergy?

I always recommend that people try to use a seed flour in place of almond flour. You could try substituting oat flour or regular flour, but it will result in a much more dry cookie. Try pulsing sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds in a blender or food processor until a fine meal forms. 

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Maple Oat Cookies

Makes: 12 small cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup almond meal (see above how to make your own)
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, stir together the almond meal, oats and salt. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until a uniform dough forms.

Scoop tablespoon-sized cookies onto the baking sheet. Use your hands to flatten them (they will not spread), making sure they keep their shape. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges JUST start to turn light golden brown. Allow to cool for a bit so they hold together. 


Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Cookies

1. The cookies may not seem done, but will firm up as they cool. It's better to undercook them then overcook them, unless you like a super crunchy cookie. 
2. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks
3. For a nut-free option, substitute pumpkin seed or sunflower seed meal (details in questions above) 
4. These cookies make amazing ice cream sandwiches!
5. Double the recipe and freeze half for emergency cookies!