The Reason For the Season!
Every Fall I think we all go a little pumpkin crazy. And why not? It is delicious and healthy for you too. Pumpkin is a member of the winter squash family and it is known to be an excellent source of essential vitamins and nutrients. For starters it contains copious amounts of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). It is also a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. And just to mention a few more; it's a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin B6, niacin-vitamin B3 and pantothenic acid. For more information on the health benefits visit The World's Healthiest Foods.
It is also very versatile. It can be used in both savory and sweet recipes. IT'S ALL GOOD! I decided to go with the sweet. This recipe is enough for a batch of cookies and bars. I made both. You could make one or the other but I liked the variation. I took the cookies to work to share and ate most of the bars myself for a nighttime snack!
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies AND Bars
by Mixed Salad Annie
2 cups AP flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (optional)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tub margarine
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup, plus 2 teaspoons canola oil
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (you could increase this up to 1 cup if you want them sweeter)
3 tablespoons molasses
1 egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or butterscotch chips or a combination
1 cup raisins
Line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and two cookie sheets with parchment or spray with cooking spray. Cream together butter and sugars, until light and fluffy.
Combine flour, oats, ground flax seeds, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt; set aside.
Add egg, egg white and vanilla; mix well.
Alternately add dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well between each addition. Add nuts and mix to combine.
Divide batter and place half in a separate large bowl. Stir chips in one bowl and raisins in the other.
Fill the 13 x 9 inch baking pan with the raisin batter and smooth to even it out. Set aside.
For each cookie, drop a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough onto the cookie sheet leaving an inch between each cookie.
For cookies bake at 350 degrees F for 9-12 minutes; check at 9 minutes (it's better to under bake than over bake or they will be dry).
For bars bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs on it.