I made these the other day and if I don’t make them again my family will kick me out.
Well, okay, full disclosure, Julia won’t kick me out. She didn’t like them. But Bill and Alex? Oh yeah.
And they really should be called “Because I need to go to the grocery store” cookies. Why? I was out of several things in the original recipe, so I just subbed this and that and ended up with something unexpectedly fabulous.
The other day I roasted one of the medium-sized butternut squashes we harvested recently. I was just going to puree it and then pack it in the freezer for future baking, but Bill and Alex had
sucked down eaten all the chocolate chip cookies I made last week (Julia didn’t like them – she’s not a big chocolate chip fan) and I needed to refill the cookie jar.
I wanted to pick something Julia would like. I was going to make Snickerdoodles – she likes plain cookies and cinnamony things – but then I saw the roasted butternut squash in the fridge and decided to use that.
I went online to get ideas, and found several recipes for pumpkin cookies. One had oatmeal in it, which appealed to me, so I printed that up to use as a starting point.
I was completely out of some of the ingredients. And because I was making Camembert that day (yes!!! Camembert! I’ll write about that later.) I had to be home to do various cheese-making things and couldn’t want to run to the store. Plus, it’s fun to rough it sometimes.
Here’s what I didn’t have:
Butter (not enough for the recipe, anyway)
I know – pretty pathetic.
But it was meant to be.
I combined flour and oats and baking soda and salt…added cinnamon and ground ginger…combined the roasted butternut squash with some olive oil (it wasn’t moist enough to puree on its own), then added a little molasses and an egg and some sugar to the squash puree. I put all the wet stuff in my stand mixer to blend it well, then worked in the dry ingredients. I refrigerated the mixture for at least an hour – I don’t really remember how long.
I was also out of parchment paper, and I didn’t want to use foil, so I flattened little paper mini muffin cup liners and Julia and I placed balls of dough on each flattened round. They looked like weird flowers….
I baked them for about 8 minutes and when I opened the oven door to turn the pan, I noticed that they had not spread at all. So I flattened them, leaving each one about a third of an inch thick.
Let them bake another 7 minutes and then took them out.
At first I thought they were a bit…odd. They weren’t the texture I’d had in mind, but then, I didn’t have the usual ingredients, either. I let them cool and brought a little plate downstairs for everyone else to try.
Julia, as I said before, didn’t like them.
Alex LOVED them. I was so surprised. For whatever reason, I just didn’t think these cookies would pass inspection. Bill liked them a lot, too.
Texture-wise, they’re thick and kind of dense but not too dense, chewy, soft. I reduced the amount of sugar called for in the original recipe, so they aren’t overly sweet. The molasses is present but not overbearing.
I baked another round of them yesterday morning for lunch boxes and after school, and then another pan this morning. Today’s were the best. I reduced the cooking time by a couple of minutes, which left them a little lighter, texture-wise.
Anyway, I have no process pictures, but I have to share the recipe regardless.
Butternut Molasses Oatmeal Cookies
About 1 1/2-2 cups roasted butternut squash (you can use canned pumpkin or squash, or use a different squash variety – this is just what I happened to use) (and I didn’t measure the squash – I just roasted it and used what I had.)
About 3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons molasses
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
What to do:
1. Combine cooled, roasted squash with olive oil and molasses and, using a food processor or blender or immersion blender, puree until smooth. Set aside.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.
3. Place egg and sugar together in a stand mixer (or a bowl, if using a hand mixer) and combine briefly. Add the squash mixture and mix well. Finally, stir in the dry ingredients.
4. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
5. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a couple of sheet pans with parchment paper.
6. Scoop out heaping teaspoons or tablespoons of dough, roll into a ball and then place on parchment, flattening to about 1/3 of an inch thick.
7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven and how soft/chewy you like your cookies.
* You could also add nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, candied ginger, etc to the recipe and I bet it would be great. I was going to add almonds, but Julia doesn’t like them. Now I wish I had, since she didn’t like the cookies anyway. Next time.