With some more pumpkin to use up, I couldn't have found a more suitable recipe idea amongst my delicious bookmarks than this one for Autumn breakfast cookies. There's nothing cheeky about eating these cookies for breakfast - they're full of pumpkin and oats and nuts and beans, with just a little butter and dried fruit. I made a few substitutions for convenience: almonds for pistachios, cannellini for pinto beans, and some actual maple syrup instead of the original maple extract (anyone seen or used that in Oz?). I think the original intent of this recipe is still there.
These cookies' sweetness comes almost entirely from dried cranberries, so it's important to mix those evenly through the dough and get one into every bite. I kept the dough in the fridge for almost a week, just baking a tray here and there as it suited me - this didn't affect the cookies at all and probably made the dough easier to roll.
Autumn breakfast cookies are dense and soft, and I think they're at their best accompanied by some juicy fruit or a cup of tea. Their flavour reminds me a little of muesli bars and in fact the last few saved me from some high-fat snacking while travelling, as a muesli bar often might.
Autumn Breakfast Cookies
(adapted slightly from a recipe appearing on Find Your Balance)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
200g pumpkin, skin removed and chopped roughly
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup almonds
400g can cannellini beans, drained
120g butter, melted
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup
a shake of nutmeg
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Drizzle the oil across a baking tray and add the pumpkin chunks; stir them around to lightly coat them in the oil. Bake the pumpkin until it's soft, about 20 minutes. Set it aside to cool.
In a food processor, grind the rolled oats to a coarse powder. Transfer the oats to a medium-large bowl. Next, grind the almonds to a coarse powder in the food processor and add them to the bowl with the oats. When the pumpkin has cooled down, puree it in the food processor. Add the beans, egg, melted butter, salt, maple syrup and nutmeg, blending it all together until smooth. Scoop the mixture into the bowl and fold everything together until thoroughly combined. Fold through the cranberries, doing your best to distribute them evenly throughout the dough.
Line a baking tray with paper. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place them on the tray; they don't spread out too much so you need only leave a little space between them. Use a fork to press the cookies flat.
Bake the cookies until they're golden on the outside, about 20 minutes.