Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Makes appx. 2 dozen cookies

1 cup gf flour
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups gf rolled oats
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

  • Line a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the oats onto the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the oats are aromatic. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • Combine the gf flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Then, add the pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry ones, stirring until a batter has formed. Add in the oats and stir. 
  • Add the white chocolate chips and stir. 
  • With the oven still at 350 degrees, scoop small balls of the batter, about 2-Tablespoons worth, onto a lined or greased baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 to 11 minutes and remove from oven. Let cool on a wire rack.

Fall made a sly entry in Western Massachusetts this year. Even after the first official day of fall, we were enjoying beautiful clear skies and warm temperatures. So it came as a surprise when we drove to the market one day and found ourselves passing overstuffed scarecrows smiling blankly from porches, stacks of glossy pumpkins at roadside stands, and fields of freshly harvested corn. Could it actually be fall, we asked ourselves? Slowly, we watched the leaves on surrounding hillsides start to turn – fire truck red, canary yellow, pale emerald, and rust – and began to smell the first hints of wood smoke on cool evenings. When the weather turned a few degrees cooler and fliers began appearing for harvest festivals in surrounding small farming towns we finally began to believe the seasons had changed.

Autumn is, by far, my favorite season. I love the turning of the leaves, the hint of chill breeze that carries notes of wood smoke, and the sense of celebration that comes as people of all walks head out to farm stands to pick out fresh corn, gnarled gourds, and, of course, the perfect pumpkin. Most of all, I love the diversity of food that fall brings. Autumn is a season of gastronomic decadence – grilled corn, plump turkeys, homemade chili, and pumpkin pie. After the heat of summer, it feels good to dig into a bowl of stew or to sit around a warm oven as the mouth-watering smells of baked goods fill the kitchen.

Speaking of baked goods, Katja asked me yesterday what I wanted to do for the blog this week. Sadly, it’s been hard for me to keep track of the blog these days. I work 11 hours a day as a teacher – managing overpopulated classrooms, running copies, planning lessons, grading, calling parents, attending meetings, and filling out endless paperwork. So I was caught off guard when she asked and couldn’t come up with a single idea for today’s post. Fortunately, my amazing wife has been a champion in picking up my slack. Moreover, she is able to read my mind even when I can’t, and she suggested some form of pumpkin baked good in honor of the season. Reader, have I told you lately what a lucky guy I am?

The weather for today was forecast to be cooler with intermittent rain. In other words, it is the perfect autumn day to stay in, listen to the rain, and snack on gooey, fresh from the oven cookies. As the misty morning began to clear, Katja whisked about our farmhouse kitchen pulling out pumpkin and spices and generating the warmth and gentle background noise of a happy autumn home. For my part, I sat back and sipped my coffee, watched the glow of morning spread over rain coated grass outside, reflected equally on the best parts of autumn and the best parts of marriage, and began to write.

We hope that you, too, are somewhere cozy as the days grow shorter and a chill breeze rustles the husks of fallen leaves. Maybe you’ll be out for a walk, smelling the cider tart scent of fallen apples and marveling at the Technicolor trailside vistas. Or maybe you’ll be sitting in a little country kitchen – windows glowing like jack-o-lanterns beneath a skeleton moon. Wherever you find yourself this autumn, take some time to cuddle up with a plate full of these scrumptious pumpkin and white chocolate chip cookies. Here’s wishing you all the best for your fall season!

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