To be honest, I’m not really sure how to begin this post, suffice to say I don’t want to focus on all the recent tragedies that have struck our northern aviation community. I know it’s important to remember, but this is not the place to do so. I’m a happy eater, so with all the pains of loss, and the fear of things I’ve never been afraid of before, I have lost my motivation to eat…let alone write about food. However, I know the importance of continuing to move forward in our lives, even when it seems impossible at first. So it’s time to dig my heals back into the things that I love and get grounded again. I can’t say enough about how grateful I am for all the wonderful family and friends we have in our lives – thank you all for your love and support over the past weeks.
With Thanksgiving this weekend, we had the opportunity to spend lots of quality time with family members who live in town. We don’t have many traditions like other families may have, just lots of eating and sharing of recent events and memories. One traditional food that most welcome with open arms during the holiday season is pumpkin pie. But this is a dessert I’ve never really been a fan of. It’s not about the flavour – it’s all about the texture. I find pumpkin pie to be slimy…like I’m eating a nutmeg flavoured slug. I used to think it was “okay” if drowned in thick, sweet whipped cream. Then I realized I could save the calories from the
slug pie pumpkin pie and just eat giant piles of whipped cream.
But let’s get back to the flavour. I’ve always adored the scent of baking pumpkin pie. And I tried so many times to tolerate the texture just so I could get a taste. The sweet spiciness of the pumpkin makes me feel comforted and calm. It reminds me of Thanksgiving and Christmas. It makes me want to curl up in a sweater and prepare for fall. It reminds me of my Grandpa (his favourite pie). This weekend I needed this comfort. But I also wanted to enjoy it. So I made the pie into a cookie. Well sort of. I took a basic oatmeal cookie and embellished it with pumpkin pie goodness. And I added some dried cranberries – because they added some tartness, plus they looked pretty. Be parpared: the cookies are moist. Kyle called them “muffiny” but not in protest…we are talking about the cookie monster here. They passed his seal of approval. So bake these for your friends, your family, or just yourself – and fill your home with comfort.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup pumpkin puree (if from a can, make sure it’s pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper (or 2 baking sheets if you want to cook 2 batches at once – just remember to rotate your pans half-way through the baking time)
Stir the dry ingredients (flour through salt) together in a large bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer or another large bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter until smooth (about 1-2 minutes). Add the pumpkin puree, egg, molasses, and vanilla and mix until combined.
With your mixer on, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (or if you are mixing by hand, stir in the dry ingredients in 3 batches), make sure not to overmix. Add the dried cranberries and stir to combine.
This is a wet cookie dough. Drop the dough onto the cookie sheet by tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet. These do not spread much, so you don’t need much more than an inch between each cookie. Once your sheet is full, lightly press down on the cookies to flatten them slightly.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly golden on the outside. Let the cookies cool for about 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a cooling rack. These cookies are best once they have cooled completely. But no one will judge you if you eat them right away.
Makes approximately 42 cookies.