This week, I have been thinking about autumn. It is finally upon us, with all of its gorgeous color, in full force. Every day brings brand new colors, and I am amazed by how quickly things change in the landscape. Today might hold beautiful, vibrant greens and yellows, but tomorrow is full of orange and red.
There’s a chill in the air that creeps up on you at night. You don’t realize how chilly it gets until it’s three in the morning, you really want to grab the down comforter from the closet, but are too apprehensive of the chill to leave the bed. That’s where I am thankful for the Hubby and Blueberry – they have extraordinary metabolism, and almost always run hot. I just snuggle up, and drift back asleep.
Around this time, I find myself retreating into solitude, and finding beauty in areas I would otherwise ignore. A mostly overcast day would be depressing in any other weather. But during autumn, it serves as a reminder of the color that exists in everyday life, even without the bright, happy sun to shine upon it.
With the beauty of the leaves changing, comes the inevitable “pumpkin everything”. There’s pumpkin in my breakfast, pumpkin in my dinner, and pumpkin in my desserts. I get it: pumpkin season is here, and you need to use it or lose it. But right now, it is more common to put pumpkin pie spice into everything instead, since plain pumpkin mostly just tastes like a vegetable. After talking about this ‘pumpkin spice’ craze with a co-worker, I acquiesced to the realization that the flavors in pumpkin pie spice do elicit a sentimental, cozy-type feeling within my bones. So, somewhat reluctantly, I decided to lean into it.
I had another family over for a dinner party the other night, and after completely stuffing ourselves at dinner, I panicked when I realized I had forgotten to make dessert. I had bought organic canned pumpkin at our local co-op, with the intent that it would go into a dessert that evening, but didn’t have a specific recipe in mind. As the dinner plates were being cleared, and our guests were sighing and leaning back in their chairs, I slipped into the pantry to find something to satisfy the sweet tooth cravings that were sure to come.
The pumpkin was the last thing I put on the shelf, and I had absentmindedly placed it next to the oatmeal. That clicked together in my mind. Oatmeal cookies are notoriously dry and crumbly, while pumpkin cookies are notoriously wet and gooey. Together, they could create the perfect cookie! I dug around in my Pinterest boards for a recipe, and got to work.
Everyone was so full and satisfied, that instead of moving to the living room, they stayed seated at the table while I baked. We laughed, joked, and had great conversation while I put together the culinary finish to our evening. It was a perfect autumn moment.
Recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 10 minutes
Yield: around 3 dozen, depending on your cookie size
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 (11 ounce) package butterscotch chips
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat softened butter until it turns light and fluffy. Turn the mixer to low, and slowly add in sugar until combined. Then add in brown sugar in the same manner.
- Turn the mixer back to medium speed, and add in eggs one at a time. Then add the pumpkin and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined.
- Turn the mixer to low, and very slowly add the flour mixture. Stir until only just combined.
- Remove bowl from stand mixer, and fold in the oats and butterscotch chips.
- Drop by rounded tablespoon on to prepared baking sheets. I found that my mixture didn’t spread, so I could pack quite a few on to the baking sheet, however this did increase my baking time.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes, or if you crammed a ton onto your baking sheet like me, bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit on baking pan for 2 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.NOTE: Don’t wait for these cookies to turn golden brown on top. If you do, they will be overdone, crumbly messes by the time they are fully cool. You want to see a small golden ring starting to form at the base of the cookie. The top will still be soft and squishy, but not wet. This will produce a moist, slightly chewy cookie.
The best part, is that I put the leftovers (yes, this recipe made enough for leftovers!) in a plastic zip-top baggie, and they were still moist and chewy the next day! Everyone loved the marriage of pumpkin, butterscotch, and spices. And yes, even I loved the ‘pumpkin spice’!