It seems that, as early as the first day of September, people have been consuming (and raving about) pumpkin-flavored food items. While that mainstay of American fall dessert, pumpkin pie, is most often associated with Thanksgiving dinner in late November, other pumpkin creations tend to crop up throughout the autumn months. Pumpkin-lovers greet the fall season with popular items like pumpkin lattes, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin ice cream. Now, you can add another item to the list: pumpkin monster cookies.
Such a recipe seems fitting for the cooler weather, as it combines two food items that seem synonymous with the word “cozy” (namely, pumpkin and oatmeal). It also produces a portable dessert perfect for a football game or a trip to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving.
I myself am a professed lover of all things pumpkin, a taste I developed growing up when my sister would make pumpkin bread each year for my father’s October birthday. To me, America’s recent fondness for this particular fall flavor seems more than reasonable. For all those who share my feelings, I have a pumpkin monster cookie recipe for you.
On the other hand, there are many people who are not in on this pumpkin craze. Take my husband, for example. He can’t understand why anyone would eat pumpkin for enjoyment. If this sounds like anyone in your life, or if you yourself are left scratching your head at the idea that pumpkin could be a desirable dessert, then I have a pumpkin monster cookie recipe for you, too.
The first recipe (“For Pumpkin Lovers”) is for those who wait all year for the fall season so that it will once again be socially acceptable to eat pumpkin once a week, if not daily. These cookies are little pillows of pumpkin oatmeal, chewy and chock-full of chocolate chips. If you like pumpkin, you will love how pumpkin-y these cookies are.
The second recipe (“For Pumpkin Skeptics”) is for people like my husband who need to ease their way into pumpkin desserts. It’s mostly made up of classic monster cookie ingredients (oatmeal, peanut butter, M&M’s), with a hint of pumpkin flavor. Those who can’t bring themselves to like pumpkin should give these cookies a try (my mother-in-law, who is definitely in the pumpkin skeptics camp, loved this recipe). They’re familiar enough, being more of a traditional monster cookie, and yet they carry an undertone of pumpkin that could spark a change of heart for some skeptics.
So, for your next fall get-together, consider making a batch of pumpkin monster cookies. Maybe you’ll be baking for those who consider pumpkin to be an essential food group or perhaps you’ll be serving dessert to friends who find a love for pumpkin difficult to fathom. Either way, you’ll have the perfect pumpkin monster cookie recipe on hand.
Pumpkin Monster Cookies for Pumpkin Lovers
(Adapted from April McKinney)
Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on how monster-big you make them
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
- 1 cup chocolate chips or butterscotch chips, or 1/2 cup of each
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla, and egg.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
- Add the dry mixture to the wet until just combined, and then fold in the chocolate and/or butterscotch chips.
- Spray cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough on the sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. The cookies will look soft.
- Let the cookies rest on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Pumpkin Spice Monster Cookies For Pumpkin Skeptics
(Slightly Adapted from Steph’s Bite by Bite)
Makes about 28 cookies, depending on how monster-big you make them
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chunky peanut butter
- 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 4 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup Dark Chocolate M&Ms
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add peanut butter, pumpkin, vanilla, and eggs, mixing until everything is combined.
- Add in the pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt, and remaining ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
- Scoop dough out by the tablespoon and drop onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until cookies are golden brown. Let cookies rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.