The breakfast cookie has arrived. Well, actually it's been here, but I've seen so many recipes for them lately it's hard to resist making one myself.
This is not a breakfast cookie, but check out how an enterprising coffee shop is capitalizing on the tight political race this year--it's so American. I'm not sure what this says about the election except that Romney supporters are fueling up on sugar, and you know what too much sugar can do to your brain.
Any cookie worth eating in the morning begins its life in the field not a factory. And since this recipe is about pumpkin cookies, all you have to do it go to a natural foods store or farmers' market and get a sugar pie pumpkin. Make sure your purchase comes from small sustainable farms like Blue Heron Farm, near Rockport, Washington. (These are destined for Skagit Valley Co-op in Mount Vernon.)
Just about any winter squash will do (except spaghetti squash and decorative squash), so take your pick.
We usually bake winter squash whole. Poke a fork in it, set the oven to 350F., and put it on a baking sheet. Stick it in the oven, close the door and wait for about 45 minutes. Check to see if it's done by sticking a fork in and if it pulls out easily, it's done. Let it cool a bit before letting your Cooking Assistant examine it.
This pumpkin was supposed to go for dog biscuits, which are a big hit, especially when I add a bit of molasses. It's the best dog biscuit recipe ever, so it was hard to part with some of the pumpkin for an experimental recipe. I'd picked the smallest pumpkin at the market for $4.00. The pumpkin inside was about 2 to 3 cups worth, once I'd pureed it. Exactly enough for breakfast cookies and dog biscuits.
After baking the pumpkin, I checked out recipes. First I found these pumpkin-oatmeal cookies. And they initially looked good--oats and oat flour, pumpkin puree--very healthy ingredients. Then I found these breakfast cookies done two ways. Genius--or so I thought. But on closer examination I didn't have some of the ingredients (almond meal, coconut flour, oat flour, spelt flakes) and they're kind of expensive to buy. Also I didn't want to use agave nectar. (It's not really a healthy ingredient.)
The one thing I didn't notice until the last minute was all the recipes contained no oil at all. And no oil in a cookie or muffin can seriously make baked goods have a texture like hockey pucks.
Even my Cooking Assistant agrees; if you're going to make cookies or muffins, don't forget the oil. Sure they contained nut butter, but in my baking experience, it is not the same. Who wants a hocky puck cookie?
Also when it came to adding things, I had to use walnuts from Grouse Mountain farm and dried fruit (cherries, apples and nectarines) that I'd dehydrated this past summer.
Here's the recipe:
Pumpkin-Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
(Makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen)
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten (or use flax seed egg replacer for vegan cookies)
1/3 cup butter or oil
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used Nash's Organic flour)
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup lightly toasted walnuts
1 cup dried chopped fruit
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs (or egg replacer) and butter or oil in a mixer or blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Combine flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in another bowl. Mix until well blended. Then combine pumpkin mixture and flour, adding more flour to make a fairly stiff dough. Blend in walnuts and chopped fruit.
Drop by spoonful onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove entire parchment paper to cooling rack.
They came out a tiny bit dry, but not as bad as if I'd used no oil at all.
Somebody can sniff out a good cookie anywhere. He loves his pirate hat.