I have several recipes for soft pumpkin cookies, but I am sharing my favourite today. This version was published in a book titled Better Food for Kids, written by registered dieticians Joanne Saab and Daina Kalnins, who were working at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto at the time of publication. The recipe was not included in the revised edition, and that is a shame. I suggest you scour second-hand bookstores for this 2002 edition. My daughter has made dozens of recipes from this book, repeatedly. There is no better gift for new parents than Better Food for Kids, circa 2002.
My grandmother’s recipe for pumpkin cookies is similar, but she didn’t soak the raisins or add apple sauce, and she sometimes added nuts. Soaking the raisins and adding a bit of apple sauce helps create a moist, soft cookie. I adapt this recipe for the people who will be eating the cookies. I have made gluten-free cookies by using Only Oats flour or a gluten-free blend. I sometimes use spelt flour because I like it. The recipe is forgiving and seems to turn out well in spite of variations.
Pumpkin Raisin Cookies
Preheat oven to 350°F
1½ cups of raisins
½ cup of butter, softened
1¼ cups of packed brown sugar
1 cup of canned pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
2 tablespoons of apple sauce
1 teaspoon of vanilla
½ teaspoon of ground ginger
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour or substitution of choice
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
In a small bowl, soak raisins in hot water for five minutes, then rinse and pat dry with paper towel. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add pumpkin purée, apple sauce, egg, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon. I usually stir the dry ingredients with a whisk to blend. Gradually add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, stirring until just combined. Stir in raisins.
Drop dough using a small spoon (or a scoop) onto baking sheets. Bake in a preheated oven for 12 or 13 minutes, until golden brown. These cookies are easier to remove from the pan once they have cooled.
I enjoy these cookies for breakfast. They don't crumble, so they make a nice treat for a road trip.
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