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!
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
I’ve never tried baking with a date puree but I think I’ll have to give it a shot!
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables recently posted…Quick & Easy: Black Bean and Corn Quesadilla
It’s surprising how sweet these cookies taste, and I only used 1/3 of the sugar I “should” have. 😉
Hannah @ Sprints & Scones
These look so yummy! I’ve been making chocolate chip pumpkin cookies on repeat, but they are not a healthy recipe at all, so I need to try these!
P.S. I don’t use a frosting decorating bag often, but I do use a plastic bag with the corner cut off. It works like a charm to frost cupcakes and cookies, and then I just toss it when I’m done 😉
Hannah @ Sprints & Scones recently posted…Fall Table Decor
Chocolate chip pumpkin cookies are my FAVORITE! I haven’t made them yet because I’m afraid I’ll get addicted. 😉 Also, that tip is genius! Come to think of it, my mom used to do that. I can’t believe I forgot about the plastic bag trick. Thanks so much for sharing!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie
These look absolutely delicious! Pinning to make soon! 🙂 I went a bit pumpkin overload and bought a ton of cans of pumpkin puree that I need to get using!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie recently posted…Slow Cooker Black Bean Pumpkin Chili
I’m (almost) ashamed to admit I snatched the last 2 cans of pumpkin from our local Kroger. It’s might popular right now! And that slow cooker black bean pumpkin chili sounds awesome!
I have been playing around with using dates as a sweetener as well, but your way of making it seems so simple! Can’t wait to try it out !
Hilary recently posted…October Goals
I will be using them a lot down the road. It’s a great healthy baking tip!
YUM. Just yum. I love how doughy/fluffy/awesome they look. As you know, I’m a little bit of everything person. I don’t discriminate!
SuzLyfe recently posted…Tackling Taper: Marathon and Race Taper Strategy Guide
Haha, I think you’ll like these! I’ve officially had them at all times of the day (including breakfast). Whoops.
Alexandra @ My Urban Family
You had me at healthy and cookie in the same sentence! I usually like more dense desserts, but those cookies look light and delicious!
Alexandra @ My Urban Family recently posted…Your Turn to Talk!
You can easily enjoy them for breakfast, dessert, or even a snack! 🙂
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
I love pumpkin everything!!
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted…Zinnia
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West
Well I’m a huge fan of dates, so I know I would love the taste of these! Nice work, Heather! 🙂
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…What life is like when you move out of the City
I’ve made some pumpkin pie protein smoothies this week. Sooo good!
Not really a cake or frosting person; much more of a savory palette. No chip is safe from me! But, I do love cream cheese frosting!
Also, thanks for the tip on the resistance bands. I can’t believe the whole set is only $25!
Allison K. recently posted…Global Collaboration Day
They look really yummy and I’m all for healthier cookies! I mean seriously, how can you only eat 1 cookie?
Meagan Leanne recently posted…Spencerville Family 5k Run/Walk Recap
Mary Beth Jackson
I am so with you, cream cheese frosting all the way! and cream cheese has protein, right ? 🙂 these look delish! If the temps would dip below 80 here I would get in a fall mood!
Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…Passionate or just crazy?
Haha, I like the way you think! 😉
I’m sure my kids are going to like this cookie recipe. I’m planning on trying this tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing!
Fitoru Keto recently posted…Is Peanut Butter Good for the Keto Diet?