Spiced Pumpkin Oat Cookies with Pumpkin Seeds
Strained eyes struggle to focus on the word-littered screen as tired bodies around the table groan and giggle in delirium. Envelopes stacked high, scattered on counters, tables and a china cabinet hide what once was a kitchen; a makeshift office now takes its place. Bowls, spoons, mixers and baking are replaced with press kits, CDs, printers and work. With my business partner to my right, the band to my left, we are a streamlined assembly line. Checking lists, personalizing cover letters, printing press releases, addressing envelops, assembling press kits. We all have our tasks. I glance at the analog clock on the top right of my screen – purposefully changed from digital so it is no easy task for me to see what time it is. 2:30am.
“What time is it?!” My brother – the guitarist of the band I manage – calls out. Did I really say the time aloud? I guess I did. After 18 hours of work, anything is possible.
“It’s 2:30,” I say with an air of defeat. A few more giggles erupt. “Who’s next?” I quickly change the subject.
“We’re done,” the list master says with little emotion or excitement. The sound of the last folder being filled is quickly silenced. Seven tired men and women sit in silence.
“Wait. Really? We’re really done?” We’re too tired to celebrate with a cheer. Two years of writing, composing, recording; months of branding, marketing, planning; a week of nonstop, last minute, catchup culminate in the pop of a champagne bottle exploding to life. Flutes are filled, glasses clinked and a toast made. Smiles fill the room, sitting just inches below exhausted, drooping eyes.
As soon as the celebration begun, it was over. Everyone is off to their homes, to their beds to sleep and rest. I tidy up, organizing the envelopes I will be mailing to radio stations, music blogs, magazines and more. I put supplies, printers, computers, hard drives, cords back in their proper places in the house. Trash is recycled and the leaf removed from the table turning it from a conference table back to a kitchen table. The kitchen looks like a kitchen again. A week spent in my favorite room has been spent without touching a single spoon, knife, bowl, or baked good. I want to bake. Bad.
It is rare for my kitchen to be treatless, especially cookieless but it has been just that this week and for good reason. If you didn’t know it, one of my day jobs is as manager of a band, Enloom. We’ve released their album this week. You should check it out – iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, Enloom.com. They’re incredible musicians and they are very passionate about their vocation. Ok enough pandering. Back to cookies!
Healthy Cookies: These cookies are a lot like my chewy trail mix cookies but the star here is pumpkin. While the pumpkin is muted like in my pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls, the pumpkin seeds add a very unique texture for cookies. While I won’t call a cookie health food, I will say these are chocked full of some healthy goodies. Flaxseed is loaded with fiber, antioxidants and a plethora of nutrients. Pecans are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Oats provide iron, fiber and thiamin. Pumpkins are loaded with numerous nutrients and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are – wait for it – a good source of protein, iron, zinc, magnese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and potassium. So it’s settled. Cookies can be healthy!
Pumpkin Puree: This recipe calls for pumpkin puree. I suggest doing this from scratch. To do this I suggest buying a pie pumpkin- they are much smaller than the jack-o-lantern variety and have a fuller, sweeter flavor. To make the puree, cut the pie pumpkin in half and scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff. Remove the stem and place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Place the sheet in an oven preheated at 375°F and roast for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick easily pierces the skin. Juices will begin to run form the pumpkin and portions may sag. Scoop the meat from the skin and place in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Store extra in the refrigerator.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: This recipe calles for roasted pumpkin seeds. To roast pumpkin seeds, remove them from the pumpkin taking care to remove all the pumpkin bits. Rinse the seeds under water then dry. Place the seeds on a lightly oiled baking sheet – sprinkle with salt if you wish – and bake in an oven at 325°F for 20 to 25 minutes until they begin to brown just slightly.
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, at room temp.
- 4 ounces pumpkin puree
- 3 ounces brown sugar
- 3 ounces sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3 ounces whole wheat or graham flour
- 6 ounces all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces roasted pumpkin seeds
- 4 ounces chopped pecans
- 4 ounces rolled oats
- 8 ounces dark chocolate , chopped
- 2 ounces broken flaxseed
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until they blend together. Add the pumpkin and mix in well. Add the egg and the vanilla and mix until the mixture comes together.
- Add the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and salt. Mix until the batter forms.
- Add the pumpkin seeds, pecans, oats, chocolate and flaxseed. Mix until evenly distributed.
- Spoon the cookie dough onto the lined baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies for 15 to 18 minutes until just barely golden brown around the sides.
- Allow to cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving.
What’s your favorite treat to bake with pumpkin? I’m looking for ideas!