Because of the great success in my first dessert recipe, I decided to head back into the kitchen and take another stab at things. I wanted to create a cookie recipe that used less butter and flour but still tasted good. I actually received a lot of inspiration from Ina Garten’s Raisin Pecan Oatmeal cookies. But I made a few adjustments!
The History of Cookies
If only I could have taken this course in college. After doing some research, I was totally shocked to discover that cookies have a Persian origin! As if I need another reason to gloat about my ancestry, archaeologists have found remnants of baking and cookies as early as the seventh century AD! From there, the recipe spread westward, and pretty soon all of Europe was munching on these delicious and easy to pack treats. Historians suggest that because of the cookie’s portable size, they traveled really well and were often taken on long journeys.
But what about the cookies we eat today, cookies like chocolate chip and snicker-doodles? The cookie we’ve grown accustomed to consuming didn’t develop until the 18th century, mostly because it was difficult to have access to all the ingredients needed to make these treats. We often overlook how difficult it was during this era to have flour, sugar, butter, and other essential ingredients all at once. After all, it wasn’t like these 18th century Americans could just hop in their Prius and head to the nearest Whole Foods. Thus, the sugar cookies, the gingerbread men–the cookies you grew up with–these cookies are relatively new in the history of baking.
How to Reduce Sugar and Fat in Desserts
For this recipe, I really kept health and wellness in mind. I realize that sometimes we just need to eat something that is straight up bad for us. But if you’re trying to cut back on sugar and fat, this is a great recipe for you. For starters, this recipe has no flour! That’s right, no flour. Moreover, by using pumpkin puree instead of butter, I was able to cut the fat content by half! Go organic when you can, and you’ll have an even healthier cookie.
Pumpkin Walnut Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 30 cookies
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup granulated black sugar
3 cups oats
1 cup walnuts, chopped (plus more for garnish)
1 cup oat flour (blend oats in a high speed blender until they make a fine powder)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1. Beat butter until smooth. Add white sugar, brown sugar, and pumpkin puree. Add 2 eggs and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixture until smooth.
2. Add cinnamon and baking powder. Discard electric mixer and mix oat flour in by hand. Add oats in gradually. Add walnuts and mix until combined.
3. Drop rounded teaspoons on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with extra chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 degrees (Farenheit) for 12-15 minutes until edges are golden brown.