Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Cinnamon-Vanilla Icing

I’ve been on a “use-everything-up” kick recently, and noticed that we had a lonely can of pumpkin hanging out in our pantry. I’m a carb lover (especially in the winter – I should be hibernating!) so cookies seemed like the perfect use for that can of pumpkin. The first time I made these cookies (without the nuts) they were pretty flavorless, but seemed to become more flavorful after sitting in the cookie jar for a few days. I decided to up the spice level and add the nuts the second time around, and they turned out much better.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Cinnamon-Vanilla Icing

Pumpkin cookies 1

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Icing

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine the flours, oats, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. In another large bowl mix together the sugar, oil, applesauce, molasses, pumpkin, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches and then fold in the walnuts.
  4. Drop tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet and flatten with a fork. If you’re baking multiple sheets of cookies at one time, bake for eight minutes and then switch the baking sheets around in the oven. If you’re baking one sheet at a time bake for 16 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to racks to cool.
  5. Whisk the powdered sugar, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients accordingly. Once the cookies have cooled use a spoon to drizzle them with the icing.

 

Source: Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

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French Onion Soup

My first experience eating French onion soup was memorable, and not in a good way. I was on a field trip with my French class, and French onion soup was one of those things we just HAD to try. I don’t remember if we got to pick our food option or not, but I don’t know that it would have mattered much as I had never had it before. It looked gross, all brown with a hunk of congealed-looking cheese on top; and it tasted gross, which may have had something to do with the fact that the cheese on top was probably Gruyere, which is definitely not my favorite. I’ve seen French onion soup on many a menu since then, but haven’t been gutsy enough to try it after the experience I had as a youngster.

After eating a bowl of this soup (with a thick slice of lentil bread and some melted mozzarella cheese on top), I’m convinced that I can like French onion soup. In fact, I would probably eat this for every meal forever if it didn’t take so much time to make and if it was a bit more nutritionally sound.

French Onion Soup

FOS 2

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds yellow onions
  • 3 tbsp non-dairy spread (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 thick slice of bread, cut in half
  • 2 slices mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Cut the onions in half top to bottom and peel off the outer layer(s) of skin. Thinly slice each half and then cut the slices in half. Transfer cut onions to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt the non-dairy spread with the oil in a large saute pan or soup pot over low heat. When it starts to sizzle add the onions and stir to coat. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Uncover the onions and stir in the salt, black pepper, and sugar. Cook, uncovered, over low to medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring frequently and lowering the heat if they start to scorch. You can add a bit of liquid or oil to the pan if they seem to be sticking or scorching a lot.
  4. When the onions are golden brown heat the vegetable stock in a separate pan. Stir the flour into the onions and cook for another minute or two.
  5. Add the hot vegetable stock, bay leaves, and thyme to the onion mixture. Cook the soup over low heat, partially covered, for an hour or until it’s as thick as you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. If you’re going to add bread and cheese to the soup, now’s the time to do it. If you have oven-safe bowls you can place the bread and cheese right on top of the soup, otherwise place the bread on a baking sheet and top with the sliced cheese. Broil on high until the cheese gets bubbly and starts to brown.

You can make this vegan by not using the mozzarella cheese, or by using a non-dairy cheese alternative.

Source: Adapted from the kitchn.

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet potatoes are another of my favorite fall/winter vegetables. They’re versatile, delicious, and pretty easy to prepare. When I’m in a hurry I’ll wrap one in a wet paper towel and put in the microwave, but these taste best when they’re given plenty of time to cook, like in this crock pot recipe.

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet Potatoes 1

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy butter substitute (Earth Balance, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for about 4 hours, or until potatoes are tender. Add more liquid as needed. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or hand mixer until they’re as smooth/lumpy as you’d like. Taste and add more brown sugar/cinnamon if desired.

Source: My own culinary genius, with a little inspiration from Six Sisters’ Stuff