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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with loads of flavor and a terrific texture
These Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies have it all with plenty of pumpkin flavor, loads of warm spices and a great chewiness.
My family can’t resist a great oatmeal cookie, and these cookies are certainly great in my book! Our Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies are easy to make and practically addicting; you’ve been warned! Read on to find out how these cookies came out so crispy and the unique method used to reduce the pumpkin puree to pumpkin paste.
Why this recipe works:
I recently shared my sister-in-law’s beloved recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. Windy’s cookie recipe makes some yummy, soft, muffin-like cookies with a little crunch from the walnuts and chocolate chips. After sharing that recipe I started wondering if it’s possible to make a cookie with pumpkin puree that’s more crispy than cake-like.
After researching tons of recipes I found a brilliant method that sounded exactly like what I needed. In America’s Test Kitchen’s cookbook The Perfect Cookie, they published a recipe for Pumpkin-Pecan Cookies that are thin, crisp and more like shortbread with a flat surface on top. The first step in making these cookies involves a unique method for removing the moisture from the pumpkin puree.
How do you remove the moisture from pumpkin puree?
Pumpkin is made up of more than 90% water which is why baked goods usually come out more cakey and muffin-like. Pumpkin does amazing things in many kinds of recipes, but when heated the extra moisture turns into steam and gives the baked goods a nice lift. How cool! I love the science of baking.
So, how do you remove extra moisture from pumpkin puree? America’s Test Kitchen developed an easy way to ‘blot’ the water out of the puree by spreading it on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Another triple layer of paper towels is placed on top of the puree and the moisture is pressed out of the pumpkin into the paper towels. This may sound messy or time-consuming, but not at all!
I’ve made several batches of these Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies and found that pressing the pumpkin puree adds about 10 minutes total to the prep work. Amazingly, 1 cup of pumpkin puree reduces to just 1/3 cup of pumpkin paste when you remove the excess water. Brilliant right?!!!
Once the moisture is removed from the pumpkin puree, you’ll find a ton of ways to use pumpkin paste in your recipes.
Pumpkin is a great substitute for eggs in baked goods. You can often replace one whole egg with 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree with great success. In our Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies I wanted more pumpkin flavor than one-third cup could bring, and also wanted a crisper cookie with a great chewy texture.
I adapted one of our all-time favorite cookie recipes for Old-Fashioned Iced Oatmeal Cookies to create these new fall favorites. For this new recipe I reduced the eggs from two whole to one egg, plus one egg yolk. These cookies were tested with just one egg as well, but we preferred the cookie with the extra egg yolk best.
You’ll love the robust spice in these Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies.
The next step was to get aggressive with the ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. We took a hint from my sister-in-law’s Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and loaded up the dough with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice. With all that spice and pressed pumpkin paste, these cookies are over the top delicious!
For great texture and chewiness I used a combination of old-fashioned oats and quick oats. Using both kinds of oats also gives these cookies the craggy top which is very pretty when iced. For the icing we use a simple combination of milk and powdered sugar. Feel free to add vanilla, ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the glaze if you want, it’s all good!
Make the icing a little thick, or thin to a glaze-like consistency, whatever you prefer. Adjust the amount of milk by 1 teaspoon at a time to achieve the desired effect.
Can you freeze these cookies?
Yes indeed! These cookies can be flash frozen in unbaked dough balls and even after they’re baked. Also, these Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies can be frozen with the icing or without. If baking ahead for the holidays I would wait to ice the cookies until they are thawed.
I hope you’ll give these delicious Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies a try.
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Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
For the cookie dough:
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats (100g)
- 1 cup quick oats (100g)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (270g)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (250g), pressed to ⅓ cup
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226g)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed (230g)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (90g)
- 1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the icing:
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (163g)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk, half and half or cream (more or less for desired consistency)
To prepare the cookie dough:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
- Invert a large baking sheet, bottom side up on your countertop. Cover the pan with 3 layers of paper towels. Spread the pumpkin puree over the paper towels in a thin layer, using an off-set spatula. Place three more layers of paper towels on top of the pumpkin and press using your hands or the bottom of a jar, until the paper towels are soaked through.
- Peel off the top layers of paper towels and discard. Flip the remaining paper towels and pumpkin paste over so the pumpkin is spread on the back of the baking sheet. Slowly peel away the remaining soaked paper towels and discard. Scrape the paste into a measuring cup. You should have 1/3 cup. If you have more, repeat the process until you only have 1/3 cup of pumpkin paste remaining.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high until smooth, about 30-seconds. Add the sugars and mix on medium-high until the batter lightens and becomes fluffy. Add the pressed 1/3 cup pumpkin paste, the egg, one egg yolk and vanilla to the butter mixture. Beat on medium until blended. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again until well mixed.
- Add 1/3 of the oat mixture to the creamed butter and pumpkin mixture. Mix on low speed just until blended. Repeat until all oats are incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and blend one more time to ensure all the flour and oats are incorporated.
- Using a 2 tablespoon size ice cream or cookie scoop, roll the dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or just until the bottoms begin to brown. Do not over-bake. The cookies will flatten out a bit as they cool.
- Allow the cookies to rest for 5 minutes then remove to a rack to cool completely.
To prepare the icing:
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk in a shallow bowl until smooth. Quickly dip the tops of the cookies into the icing taking care not to submerge the entire top. Allow the excess icing to drip off into the bowl. Set the dipped cookies back on the rack until the icing is set.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerate for longer storage. The cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Once iced, the cookies will soften a bit over time.
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