Spicy Pumpkin Cookies

Under the light of awareness, the energy of irritation can be transformed into an energy which nourishes.
— Thich Nhat Hahn
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One of the greatest jokes ever played on me was fall in the south. We’re almost halfway through September, and it’s still 90˚. No, not a heat wave, not a nice toasty day to finish off summer – this is just how it will be for at least another month and a half …

But hey, this girl won’t be complaining any longer! Even though it’s hot AF outside, I can’t break out my absurd sweater collection just yet, and a hot cup of tea makes me sweat, at least I’m still working out in leggings + a sports bra, and can bake all of the fall things in my house! No one will stop me!

If you’re new to these little rants, then you must know I love every season. There’s something spectacular about each one, something that just makes me feel so fresh and renewed! But, if I had to pick a favorite child, fall will win every time. The best flavors, the best smells, the best crunchy leaves, the best wardrobe, the best movies, the best baked goods. Must I go on? Don’t get me wrong, give me a bikini and throw me on the beach, I’ll be annoyingly happy. Put on Elf and place a cup of cocoa with mallows in my hand, I’m a giddy child. Throw me into a field of wildflowers in the rain, this spring baby is OH so happy. BUT.The moment I see some leaves changing colors, smell cider on the stove, see the word September, I look and act literally like a gal whose crush just smiled at her.

Yep. That’s it. I’m hardcore crushin’ on autumn, it’s just the best love story of all time. Hell, I mean even my wedding anniversary is at the end of September!

Now that we’re on the same page, lets talk cookies. I’m pretty sure that I have more cookie recipes on this blog than anything else—they’re just so damn versatile and I also fckin love cookie dough, so why wouldn’t I be making them all of the time?

My goal for these cookies was to figure out how to add about as little sugar as possible, how to make them super moist while not loading these up with lots of butter, and to shove as many spices as possible into these lil babies!

Annndddd, I’m pretty sure I’ve accomplished all of it.

Even though there’s only a fraction of the amount of butter in these than my usual chocolate chip cookies and the rest was replaced with pumpkin purée, you honestly cannot tell the difference. I added the smallest amount of coconut sugar as I could, only ¼ cup, which definitely goes a long way. I wanted the true pumpkin flavor to come out, as well as ALL of the spices I threw in here—turmeric and black pepper being the most pleasant surprise of them all!

Ohhhh these are so good, and make the entire house smell like an autumn dream. AUTUMN. DREAM. Yeah, tell me how you’re going to turn that down!?

Okay, I’m done. Go do your thing in the kitchen, fall it up in there, I mean have I ever led you wrong here?!

 

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ingredients

Pumpkin Purée—9 oz, or 1 cup

Butter—2.5 oz, or 5 TBL

Coconut Sugar—1.15 oz, or ¼ cup

Vanilla Extract—2 tsp

Eggs—2

Almond Flour—3.5 oz, or 1 cup

All Purpose Flour—8.5 oz, or 1 ½ cup

Oats—3.5 oz, or 1 cup

Baking Soda—1 tsp

Salt—¾ tsp

Maca Powder—1 tsp

Cinnamon—1 TBL

Nutmeg—1 tsp

Ginger—1 tsp

Black Pepper—½ tsp

Turmeric—½ tsp

Chocolate Chips—6 oz, or 1 cup

Coconut Flakes, unsweetened—1.25 oz, or ½ cup

 

process

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the purée, butter and coconut sugar until smooth.

Add in vanilla, mix.

Add in eggs, 1 at a time, mix.

At this point, your dough will be veryrunny, do not worry!

Add together the flours, oats, baking soda, salt and spices in a separate bowl. Mix with your hands to combine.

With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients until just combined.

Fold in the chocolate chips and coconut flakes.

Cover and refrigerate your dough for at least a few hours, so the dough can stiffen up a bit – as you will notice that it is quite a soft cookie dough!

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350˚F.

Roll your cookies into 2 oz balls, or a heaping tablespoon, and bake for 12 minutes, rotating, 4 minutes.

Allow to cool on a rack slightly, so you won’t burn your tongue like I did!

 

Bon Appétit!

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Crispy Chocolate Molasses Cookie Crust

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HAPPY BEST MONDAY OF THE NEXT 2 MONTHS!!

Why, you ask?—you’re probably thinking that I’m crazy..

Hmm, maybe because Thanksgiving is this week?! And that means for the next 5 weeks it’s basically a holiday celebration every. single. day. Y’all know how much I love the holidays, my husband groans when September/October comes around because I’m just going crazy with my urge to start decorating! No, no, I don’t put a tree up that early (although I do beg!), and I don’t put any Christmas lights up until November 1st, no holiday music until the middle of November…I’m not that bad!

What do I do that’s over-the-top? I light every single wintery smelling candle, I put far too many warm spices into our coffee, I break out all of the cozy sweaters and blankets, and I START BAKING ALL THINGS HOLIDAY THEMED!! How much is too much molasses to eat every single day?

So here you go, a little bit of my September-December obsession for you!

It all started when Roberto and I agreed to host Thanksgiving this year in Atlanta. The savory side of the meal doesn’t really stress me out—I can manage some sides, rolls, salad, while I throw all of the other stuff on my husband (…like the 17# turkey…). It’s the desserts that I was obviously pumped about but also got a little bit of the sweats when planning it all out. The Big 3 had to be in there: Apple, Pumpkin and Pecan. But then I’m like HAH I’m not making your typical pies, that’s ridiculous! Sooooo, yes, I have been over planning on pies this year. Ginger and bourbon apple pie—check. Caramel pumpkin pie—absolutely. And, finally, a chocolate ganache pecan pie with a chocolate molasses cookie crust.

I always love to change-up the crusts that I do for my pies, whether it’s your typical pie dough, a sweet dough crust or, like this below, a chocolate gingerbread cookie ground up into crumbs, mixed with melted butter, then pressed into the tart pan! To me, a pecan pie is just a little bit on the sweet side, so I cut the syrupy filling and swapped it with my chocolate ganache tart filling (added toasted pecans, of course!). With this change, naturally, I had to do something a bit more fun for the crust. A gingerbread crust would have been amazing, but then I was like uhhh a gingerbread cocoa crust?  YES PLEASE!

This crust is spiced like a gingerbread cookie would be, not super, super sweet like a you’d think a cookie crust would be, and then it’s got some yummy dark chocolate cocoa powder mixed in—a win in every category if you’re asking holiday-obsessed Katie!

Here you have it, a little game changer in your Thanksgiving (or holiday!) menu! It’ll definitely be something that will wow your guests, especially if you accidentally cook a dry turkey, under salt your mashed potatoes or only set the table for 9 instead of 10! So, as Thanksgiving can be a little hectic, very loud, maybe some people had more than their share of wine, and others just fall asleep before dinner is even served—this pie will always be a win!

Best enjoyed the morning of, the day after, the next 5 weeks of holiday fun, with great company, a nice deep red, and most likely your stretchiest of pants!

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ingredients

Butter—10 oz, or 1¼C

Sugar—7.25 oz, or 1C

Eggs—1

Molasses—2.5 oz, or ¼C

Honey—2 tsp

Flour—9.5 oz, or 2C

Cocoa Powder—1.5 oz, or ½C

Baking Soda—1 tsp

Cinnamon—2 tsp

Cloves—½ tsp

Ginger—1½ tsp

Nutmeg—1 tsp

Turmeric—½ tsp

Salt—1 tsp

 

Butter, melted—2 oz, or 4 TBL

Cookies, ground—6 oz, or 1.5C

Pecans, toasted—4 oz, or 1C

 

process

Sift together all of your dry ingredients—flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, turmeric and salt.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Once creamed, add in your egg, molasses and vanilla.

When all incorporated, slowly add in your dry ingredients until just combined.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge before baking.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350˚ F.

Roll the cookie dough into balls about 2TBL’s in size—if you’re using them for the crust, this won’t be as important because you’ll be grinding them up!

Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until no longer ‘wet’-looking.

Allow to cool completely before grinding.

Toast your pecans in a 350˚F oven for about 8 minutes, until toasted. Cool.

When you’re ready to make your crust and tart, combine ground cookies with the melted butter.

Press crust into your tart pan, making sure that it’s about ¼” thick and even on the bottom as well as up the sides.

Bake in a 350˚F oven for about 12-15 minutes, until the crust has baked and is set.

Put all of your toasted pecans in the bottom of your cookie crust.

Make your chocolate ganache filling (found here!).

Pour into your crust and place into the refrigerator to set up for at least 6 hours.

 

Bon Appétit! 

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