Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cranberry-Pumpkin Cookies (Gluten-Free)

It's full swing into fall here in Michigan, and it really is a glorious season.  The colors, the smells, the coziness of it all.  I just love fall.  Lately I've been on a pumpkin kick.  I just cannot seem to get enough pumpkin.  It's so fun to roast pumpkins and make puree.  I'm all for easy and simple and canned pumpkin is just fine, but there is something fresh and tasty about roasting your own pumpkin.  And just think...homemade pumpkin pie with fresh roasted pumpkin. Oh my goodness.  Heavenly!

It's easy to roast a several pumpkins at a time and then freeze the puree that you have left over for yummy goodies throughout the winter or for purees for baby food.  Pureed pumpkin and applesauce make a delicious baby food mix.  In fact, I'd even add kale or other greens when my girls were small because the sweetness of the pumpkin and applesauce could get them to eat anything!  Not to mention all the fabulous seeds you'll get when you make your own pumpkin puree, which I'll post about soon.

I've been on a kick of trying to make muffins and cookies with no granulated sugars, especially as the cold and flu season is upon us.  This isn't an easy project.  I've been using more applesauce, dates, and bananas to sweeten our baked goodies.  I've come up with some good, tasty wholesome treats and I've also had a few turn out, well less than desirable.  It's a work in progress.

This is one of our families new favorite cookies.  We all agree. They are yummy! Sweetened with pumpkin and pure maple syrup.  I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, "The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook" by Cathe Olson.  I by no means claim to be a gluten free goddess in the kitchen but I've been playing around and experimenting a little more with our baked goodies.  These just so happen to be gluten free.  Of course you can use your regular flour and I'm sure they would be just as tasty.  These are a more "spongy" cookie which I prefer over a hard crumbly cookie.  I hope you enjoy some healthy cookie goodness!

Cranberry-Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup softened coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups brown rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375.  Beat together sweetener and coconut oil until smooth.  Add vanilla, egg, and pumpkin puree.  Beat well.  In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.  Add flour mixture to liquid mixture.  Mix until smooth.  Fold in dried cranberries and pecans.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets.  (I lined my cookie sheets with parchment paper and that worked really well).  Bake about 10 minutes, or until bottoms are golden.  (I had to add some extra time to mine...probably an extra 5 minutes but check frequently so that they don't burn).

Makes about 3 dozen.

These cookies go really well with Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Ice Cream for a very tasty, fall treat!

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