Let the season of fall-inspired baking and making #allthepumpkinthings officially begin…
These cookies are a fantastic (and healthy) way to get your pumpkin spice fix!
This recipe is free of butter, oil, eggs, and the unreasonable amount of sugar you are probably used to mixing into your cookies. It was my first time using date puree (made by me – it’s super easy and the instructions are below) as a sweetener, and I am excited to share that it was a great success! Really. Dates for sugar. Who knew?
Applesauce is another great win in the substituting department. The combination of those ingredients made the consistency of the cookies on the extra fluffy side. They’re so light and fluffy that they almost earned a “muffin top” or “cake” description in the title. But then I figured, no. They’re cookies. And they’re awesome.
(Note to self… I really need an icing dispenser.)
I left a little bit of sugar for good measure, but it doesn’t compare to the recipes I was researching for inspiration. Some call for up to 2 cups of sugar! Yikes.
Fear not dentists and friends, these muffin-cookies or whatever you want to call them are about to rock your world.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2/3 cup date puree (how to puree dates is included below!)
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup pure pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
recipe yields about 24 cookies
lightened-up cream cheese topping
(recipe tweaked from Eating Well)
8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbsp. low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Puree dates. Make sure they are pitted first! (Here’s a great how-to.) Pour 10-12 pitted Medjool (or any) dates and 1/2 cup water into a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and paste-like.
2. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease baking sheets.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix date puree, applesauce, and sugar in a large mixer bowl until blended well. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla extract. Slowly and gradually beat in flour mixture.
4. Drop small amounts of cookie batter (using a regular tablespoon) onto baking sheets.
5. Bake for 18(ish) minutes, or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then move cookies to wire racks to cool.
6. While the cookies are baking, whip up your cream cheese frosting. Beat cream cheese, sugar, Greek yogurt and vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth.
7. Top in cream cheese icing (if desired) and dig in!
It may look like a lot of steps, but I promise this recipe is pretty easy. And so worth it.
Start by pureeing your dates. Please don’t get blender happy and throw them in without pitting them first. If you’re going to skip a step, that’s really not one the one to pick.
Simply put 10-12 pitted dates and 1/2 cup water into a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. So easy!
Mix the dry ingredients into a bowl and wet ingredients into another. Slowly beat dry ingredients into the wet.
Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake until firm. (Maybe I should have kept mine in longer? Nah. I like my muffin-cookies.)
Once they’re done, cool the cookies on baking sheets for a couple of minutes and then transfer them to cooling racks. Let cookies thoroughly cool and serve.
Leave them plain or top them in (lightened-up) cream cheese frosting!
You can easily whip this up while the cookies are baking.
Store leftovers in an air-tight container and frosting in the refrigerator if you don’t frost them all at once. Spread again at room temperature.
Thank you to all who entered in the Aurorae Resistance Band Set Giveaway! I loved reading your comments, and it looks like a lot of you turn to resistance bands for workouts at home or on-the-go!
Entry #532 Brittany K! You have won a set of resistance bands with a traveling case and will need to respond to your email to claim your prize.
Psst! If you are really interested in these bands (I’m loving mine), the entire set is only $25! It’s a great investment and tool for workouts at home.
Questions of the Morning
• Have you baked anything fall-inspired yet?
• Are you a cake or frosting person?
I’ve always liked cake more than icing. In fact, I usually wipe most of it off. I’m totally that person you want to sit next to at a wedding or birthday party when they cut the cake. I wouldn’t dare take the cream cheese frosting off of my cake or cupcakes though. It’s my favorite!