These are the perfect autumn sweet, great alone or with coffee or a little vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup organic pumpkin pie filling or 1 cup pumpkin puree plus 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light or medium brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbs vanilla
1 cup (or more) dark chocolate chunks

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and sugars together in the standing mixer.  While that goes, combine the flour, oats, and baking soda.  If you’re using plain pumpkin puree, mix the pumpkin pie spice into the dry ingredients.

When the butter and sugars are all mixed together, add the egg and vanilla.  Once those are combined, add the dry ingredients and pumpkin, alternating between the two.  When that’s all combined, remove the bowl of cookie batter from the mixer.  Fold the chocolate chunks in with a spatula.  Do not try and do this with the mixer — it will bend your beater.

Drop spoons of the cookie batter onto the prepared cookie sheets (you can make small, medium, or large cookies).  Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes. Remove the cookies to a wire rack or counter top to cool.

How They Turned Out

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These are soft, cakey and super yummy — especially for breakfast.

At some point this Fall, I decided I was going to eat granola and yogurt every morning for breakfast.  Nevermind that I never eat breakfast. Or that I’m not a big fan of granola. Thus, I have several packages of granola laying around and no desire to eat them.  Unless. . .

If you can make oatmeal cookies, can’t you make granola cookies?  That’s not a huge leap of logic, is it?  So, instead of toast and jam this morning I decided to make these breakfast cookies.

Ingredients

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 overripe bananas
3 cups of granola (I used Nature Valley Oats and Dark Chocolate)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

How I Made Them

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 4 cookie sheets with parchment or silpats.

In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until it is light and fluffy. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the egg and vanilla.  Add the bananas in pieces (if you are not using a stand mixer, mash them up before adding them to the cookie dough).

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon together.  Add the flour mixture to the standing mixer and combine on low-medium speed.  Then add the granola, and then the chocolate chips.

Drop spoonsful of the cookie dough onto the cookie sheets, with about 2 inches in between each cookie.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the cookies are done but not too crispy.  Use a spatula to remove the cookies from the cookie sheet to a cooling rack.

How They Turned Out

Yummy!  I was worried that the hard granola would still be hard in the cookies but it softened right up.The banana taste comes right through, and the dark chocolate adds just enough sweetness.

Banana Granola Cookies

Makes 3 dozen plus cookies.

Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you — these are decadent and rich cookies.

Fudgy No-Bakes

Ingredients:                                                                               

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup 2% milk
4 tbs Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup organic no stir creamy peanut butter
3 cups quick cooking rolled oats

How I Made Them:

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the milk, sugar and cocoa powder and stir to combine completely. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the peanut butter and then the oats.  Stir to combine.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop the cookie batter onto the paper using a large spoon, using the back of the spoon to smooth the cookie into a circle.  Let the cookies set in the refrigerator for 2 hours or so.

They will last for four or five days in a tight tupperware — but you won’t have any left that long after folks get a taste.

These fortune cookies are definitely just for fun. They taste fine, but aren’t a gourmet treat.  And they do not always turn out as pretty as you’d like.  That said, they are a fun addition to a Chinese New Year Party menu, especially if you write your own fortunes.

Ingredients:

fortunes, typed or written on white paper
2 egg whites, beaten well
6 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup fine sugar
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder

How I Made Them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment or a silpat.

Cream the butter in a standing mixer.  Add the sugar and mix well at medium speed.  Add the flour in two batches and mix well at medium speed.  Add the egg whites and mix well at low-medium speed (do not whip the batter).  Remove the bowl from the mixer and mix the vanilla and spices in with a rubber spatula. You should have a light cookie batter (it won’t have the consistency of regular cookie dough).

On the lined cookie sheet, make three circles of cookie batter, each about 3 inches in diameter. You can prepare a second cookie sheet to pop in right as the first comes out, just to keep your assembly line moving.

Better Pre-Pic

You can only make 2-3 cookies at a time, unless you have help, because you have to be able to fold and crimp them while they are still hot from the oven. Bake for 7-9 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges. It takes a bit to figure this out.  Not done enough and they won’t fold without tearing.  Done too much and they won’t fold without breaking.

When they are done just right, remove the cookies from the oven. Immediately place a fortune in the center, fold the cookie in half and crimp the top, and then bend the cookie over the side of a muffin tin to cool and harden.

Fold Over

The cookies will cool very quickly, so work fast.  I have yet to master the art of the fortune cookie, so it took three batches of this recipe to make 24 cookies.  The mistakes were frustrating, but tasty.

How They Turned Out:

Not perfect, but a novel way to end a festive dinner party.  Especially if you have witty fortunes.

Final Fortune Cookie Pic

My fabulous grandmother gave me a cherry red KitchenAid mixer for Christmas this year.  I’ve longed for a KitchenAid mixer for 20 plus years, so this is a big treat.  That said, the inaugural use of the KitchenAid mixer had to be special.  So it sat in its giant box for two weeks, waiting for a night when my best girlfriend was free to come over for the Mixer Christening.

We made ginormous chocolate chip cookies. 

It’s a basic recipe. Cream 1 cup of butter with 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar.  Add 2 eggs, then 2 tsp vanilla.  Once well blended, add 2 1/4 cups flour plus 1/2 tsp salt plus 1 tsp baking soda.  Finally, add 2 cups of chocolate chips and chopped walnuts to your taste.  Bake at 375 degrees for 11 minutes.

Later on, her husband and their 2 year old son, Little D, came over to partake of the warm Mixer Christening cookie offering.  Then, Little D did the sacred Mixer Dance.  This is the stomping round and round dance he does whenever a KitchenAid mixer is whirling. 

It was the perfect way to welcome the newest addition to my appliance family.  I just wish Grandma could have been here to join in the fun.  I guess I’ll just send her some cookies instead.