I know most people aren’t as fond of it as I am, but is there anyone that doesn’t enjoy at least one pumpkin dessert this time of year? And I don’t mean pumpkin pie. I mean that’s fine (once a year) but there are so many ways to enjoy pumpkin!
As the markets are flooded with all things pumpkin right now – the whole squash, pumpkin puree, pumpkin baking mix, and even pumpkin yogurt – it’s no wonder that as I day dreamed of something sweet pumpkin kept coming to mind. I tried to think of something unique. I found recipes for pumpkin fudge, pumpkin cakes, pumpkin brownies, etc. But none of them really seemed right. Then it occurred to me… why not take Poppy’s Peanut Butter Cookies and swap the peanut butter for pumpkin, swap the peanut butter chips for dried cranberries, add a few pecan and top them off with cream cheese frosting!
I love frosting, I used to eat straight out of the can when I was a kid. The thing I love most about it is that it’s sweet (yes, I have a vicious sweet tooth). I wanted to add the creaminess and sweetness of a frosting but I didn’t want the cookies to be so sweet that you couldn’t taste the pumpkin. So this cookie recipe will not produce a typical super sweet cookie. If you prefer them sweeter just add more brown sugar.
Preheat to 350 degrees, line an 8 x 8 with non-stick sprayed foil.
In a mixing bowl stir together all of the wet stuff:
6 oz plain Greek Yogurt (I used a 0% fat Fage)
1 beaten Egg
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup Brown Sugar (packed)
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Ginger – sorry I didn’t measure these maybe a teaspoon of Cinnamon and much less of the Nutmeg as it was freshly grated. If you’re nervous about the ratio use Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Once that’s well mixed stir in:
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1-1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries (I bet chopped, dried apple would be good too)
1/2 cup Pecan Pieces (omit if you don’t like them)
Spoon it evenly into the prepared pan and bake it for 15 minutes. After they cool cut them into 16 bars. By using Greek Yogurt instead of butter the calories are about 115 for each bar at this point.
But let’s not forget the frosting!
In a mixing bowl combine the following with a mixer:
8 oz Cream Cheese (light is ok)
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup Butter (softened)
a dash of Cinnamon
Refrigerate the frosting while the cookies cool, it’s never going to be firm but this will help it ‘set up’. Frost before or after you cut, as the frosting isn’t super firm I chose to frost after cutting. The tops were sprinkled with a Cinnamon Sugar mixture to add a little color contrast. I ended up with some frosting left over. Um… I just realized I’m going to need to go get some cinnamon raisin bagels for the remainder of that frosting!