Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Brandied Raisins

I invented this recipe for my sister-in-law's birthday. I asked my brother what she liked as far as deserts and he said "pumpkin". Good F*$%ing answer!! Pumpkin is my FAVORITE. They were going on a road trip so I had to make a cookie, you know, for travel. Their trip consisted of driving from SoCal through the deserts of Utah, Arizona and Colorado stopping to hike and white-water raft along the way. Sounds amazing, right?! [they're a pretty rad-ass couple]. So, I wanted to make something that they could take on their hikes as well, like an energy cookie. Thus I slammed Oatmeal Raisin cookies with pumpkin. I added the brandied raisins because I like alcohol in baking, and it was her birthday, so you need booze. It bakes out so it still works for the whole energy cookie thing. You have to soak the raisins, or they'll dry out in the cookie, and who wants a crispy hard thing inside their delicious moist cookie thing?? No one. That is the correct answer. 

Make. Eat. Smile.

If you want a less sweet cookie, you can reduce the white sugar by one-quarter cup. These are very hearty cookies, so if you make them less sweet, they’re a good energy cookie for hikes, picnics, sporting events.


2 large baking sheets
Parchment paper [optional]
Electric mixer [either hand or standing]
1 large mixing bowl [if using a hand mixer]
1 medium mixing bowl
Small bowl
Rubber spatula and/or wooden spoon
Ice cream scoop [optional]


1 ½ cups raisins
½ cup brandy
½ cup pecan or walnut pieces, toasted [optional]
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 cup packed, light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp table salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 can pumpkin puree [not pumpkin pie filling]
3 cups quick cook oats

  1. Adjust oven racks to low and middle positions; heat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, spread out nuts into a single layer, place in heating oven for about 10 min until aromatic. Combine the raisins and brandy in a bowl and let soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. If you don’t want to use brandy, soak the raisins in warm water.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer or by hand, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and beat until just combined.
  3. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice together in medium bowl, then stir them into butter-sugar mixture with wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Mix in pumpkin puree until just combined. Either strain the raisins with a fine mesh shiv or scoop onto a paper towel and pat dry [try to save the brandy for a tasty libation for later -- it is a sin to waste alcohol]. Stir oats, nuts and raisins into batter. 
  4. Using the optional ice cream scoop, form dough into about 24 2-inch balls, placing each dough round onto one of two parchment paper–covered, large cookie sheets. Bake until cookie edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. (Halfway during baking, turn cookie sheets from front to back and also switch them from top to bottom.) Slide cookies on parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving. If not using parchment, allow cookies to cook on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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