Saturday, January 26, 2013

Butternut Cookies

We've been on a bit of a cookie bender over here since the holidays.

Yesterday, instead of bolting over to Whole Foods for our daily an afternoon coffee and cookie (they have a cookies-by-the-pound bar which is an absolute danger zone), I opted to bake some and even attempt something healthy.  We have a real life qualifier in our house (most often used while I'm cooking) on whether things are Actually Delicious or Hippie Delicious.  These Butternut Cookies = Actually Delicious.

I've never shared a recipe here before, but what the hell.  Maybe y'all have been on cookie benders too and need to feel the satisfaction that comes from having squash in your cookie. These little gems come from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking For Health (by far and away my favorite cookbook ever).

You'll need:
1 1/2 cups pureed cooked butternut squash (see notes)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil*
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts, almonds peanuts or pecans**
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips**
1/2 cup chopped raisins or dried cranberries**
1/2 cup sunflower or chopped pumpkin seeds**

1. In a bowl, mix together the squash, sugar, oil, egg and vanilla
2. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
3. Fold flour mixture into the squash mixture until well blended
4. Stir in the nuts, chocolate, dried fruit, seeds, if using
5. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls onto two large baking sheets, about 18 cookies per pan. Give them room, they spread a bit as they bake***

The dough is super sticky.  I ended up just using my fingers to drop little goops on the baking sheet.

Bake in a preheated 375ยบ oven for 10-15 minutes, until slightly browned on the bottom. Use a spatula to move cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in a covered container.

You can use a 12 oz package of frozen winter squash and let it thaw, then puree.  Use whole wheat flour or pastry flour, but not bread flour.

My notes:
*I used coconut oil
**I used mini chocolate chips, walnuts (untoasted), pumpkin seeds (roasted, salted), and dried crans. They are chocked full of stuff and you can use any or all of these... if you don't want/have/like all the extras, use what you like and add more to substitute.
***Mine didn't spread much, so I jammed a whole bunch on the second sheet.

The cookies are cakey and super good, not too sweet.  They're not pretty (and I realize don't photograph too well) but it's taking everything we have not to eat all of them today.  I had two for breakfast with coffee.

Some selling points/words directly from the book: "Guilt-free treats, high in beta-carotene, omega-3s, whole grains and fiber - they passed the test of our kid testers who thought they were really yummy and are hoping to find them often in their lunch boxes ".

Enjoy! Happy weekend.


  1. Perfect timing, Mags. Now I know exactly what I'm going to be doing with that pesky butternut squash that's been sitting in my kitchen all week. I'll hide it in cookies! I love it!


  2. Love, love, love the distinction between actually delicious and hippie delicious - couldn't have said it better myself. I think these are next on my baking list...


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