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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For love of pumpkin #3

The house smells amazing today! Between the lentil and vegetable soup bubbling away in the slow cooker and delicious pumpkin spice cookies still warm from the oven, it's beginning to feel a lot like Thanksgiving!

Yesterday, Melissa sent me this recipe for pumpkin spice cookies after raving about them on Gchat for a solid five minutes. A few modifications were made, subbing butter and applesauce for shortening and agave nectar for white sugar, and the result is just as good as Melissa promised. I've already enjoyed couple (full disclosure: 5) today -- and will maybe share with my family -- before bringing the rest to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow night.

I guess a year of teaching cooking class to impatient, baking-challenged, 10-year-old Koreans paid off, because these cookies turned out pretty darn yummy if I do say so myself. More cake-y than crispy, just the way I like 'em.

Note: The recipe claims to make 36 cookies, but I ended up with almost 60! Could be the agave nectar and applesauce thinning out the mixture...? Whatever the case, these three-bite treats contain the perfect combination mixture of sweet and spicy.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup agave nectar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray PAM on cookie sheets to prevent sticking.

Mix together wet ingredients, then sift in the dry ingredients. Butterscotch chips go in last. (Usually I'm not a big butterscotch fan but they're a fantastic addition here.) Drop spoonfuls of batter onto the cookie sheet and pop into the oven.

Check on the cookies after 15 minutes, but mine took 20 to bake thoroughly.

With 56 calories and 2 grams of fat per cookie, this is a pretty guiltless sweet treat. Served alongside an oversize mug of Trader Joe's organic Ruby Red Chai, it was a delightful afternoon snack.

This was my first experience baking pumpkin cookies; actually, I might never have even eaten pumpkin cookies before besides those sickeningly-sweet, iced, sugar cookies from Safeway. But as of today, these cookies may join the ranks of pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread as my all-time favorite autumn foods. Guess I'll have to sample a few more (and pie and bread) before making an informed decision!

What a girl has to do in the name of research... ;)

Now I just need to find my eating pants in preparation for tomorrow's festivities.

What's your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?