Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

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When October arrives, and Halloween is everywhere, I start to dream about these pumpkin cookies and look for any excuse to make them.  I’ve been making them at this time of year for 25 plus years.  And I only make them at this time of year because I cannot control myself.  They are just that delicious!  In 1986, I was teaching nursery school, and I was always looking for something easy to bake with the children, so they could participate in the process in some manner.  I had a wonderful teachers’ aide at the time, and she brought in this recipe that she had found in a magazine advertising Libby’s canned pumpkin.  The fact that two of the ingredients were pumpkin and oats made it seem somewhat healthy.  The kids loved the cookies, and we sent everyone home with some to share with their family.   Every mom asked for the recipe.  I came home and made them for my children and they have been a big hit in our family ever since.  My grown children look for these cookies every fall.  I just have to oblige!

You can make this recipe as simple as you want, or you can shape them into pumpkins and decorate them with candy and icing.  Over the years, as my children got older,  I got lazier and lazier, and just plopped the batter on a cookie sheet.  But now that there are grandchildren,  I’ve gotten a little fancier.  I usually make half the batter as plain cookies, and then simply decorate the pumpkin shaped cookies with chocolate chips to form a face like a jack-o-lantern.  I’m sure you can come up with many ways to decorate these cookies and make them into a great Halloween treat.  But honestly, they don’t need a thing to be absolutely scrumptious!

RECIPE:  makes about 20 cookies

2 cups flour

1 cup quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked.  I’ve always used quick oats

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup Libby’s solid packed pumpkin

1 cup semi-sweet real chocolate morsels

For decorating:  more chocolate chips, icing, candy, raisons, peanut butter, etc.

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees

2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.

3.  Cream butter.  Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy.

4.  Add egg and vanilla and mix well.

5.  Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition.

6.  Stir in chocolate morsels.

7. For each cookie, drip approximately 1/4 cup cookie dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.  I use a heaping tablespoonful, but you can make these whatever size you like.  Spread into a pumpkin shape using a small metal spatula or back or a spoon.  Add a bit more dough to form a stem.

8.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cookies are firm and lightly browned.

9.  Remove from cookie sheets and cool on racks.

10.  Once cool, decorate using candies, icing or what ever you like.

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