Wednesday, November 07, 2012


I love trying new cookie recipes, because they rarely if ever turn out badly. In this case, how could adding pumpkin and spices (yes, I am firmly on board the pumpkin train after years of resistance, and that train is delicious) to the standard oatmeal scotchies recipe be anything but tasty? The pumpkin creates a nice amber color and tender cakiness, the spices help balance the intensely sweet, slightly artificial flavor (I say that in a loving way) of the butterscotch chips, and the whole thing is heartily fallish (if not very photogenic; I think mine are especially homely).

The major change I made to the original recipe was to make my own spice mixture, instead of using premixed pumpkin pie spice augmented by other spices. I went with a similar combination to the one I’ve used in all my other pumpkin recipes, but because I didn’t feel like doing endless math to match the exact amount, it made a little more than the recipe calls for, so you’ll have find some other use for the extra (I threw it into my refrigerator oatmeal the next day). I also increased the salt from ¼ teaspoon to ½ teaspoon, which seemed necessary to counteract the richness of the butterscotch chips (it’s also the amount used in the traditional oatmeal scotchies recipe, at least as published on the Quaker oatmeal package). I would maybe consider cutting back slightly on the butterscotch chips; 1½ cups (nearly but not quite an entire bag, according to my measurements) made for a very sweet result, and some of my cookies seemed more like clumps of chips loosely held together with a bit of dough. I found myself longing for more of the oatmeal-pumpkin portion, so I might try just 1 cup next time. Lastly, I think I could have made my cookies a little larger, because I got about 10 more than the original recipe did. But since when is having extra cookies really a problem?

1¼ cup cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cardamom
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon allspice
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1–1½ cups butterscotch chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Measure out 1¼ teaspoons of the spice mixture and add it to the bowl with the flour mixture, whisking well to combine. Save the rest of the spice mixture for another use.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or just in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer), beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix again. Add pumpkin and mix until combined (mixture may appear curdled, but it’s fine).

5. Turn the mixer speed to low and slowly add in flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in oats and butterscotch chips.

6. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are set and golden. Remove cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Yields: About 3 dozen cookies (original recipe said 2½ dozen; I got 40)
Time: 45 minutes
Leftover potential: Good; freezes well.

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