Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Drizzle

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Drizzle

These Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Drizzle are delicious and easy to bake bar cookies that are packed with pumpkin – and give you a new way to use pumpkin puree that doesn’t involve another pie recipe! Pumpkin is a fantastic ingredient to bake with. Like bananas – another popular baking ingredient …

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Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Drizzle

These Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Drizzle are delicious and easy to bake bar cookies that are packed with pumpkin – and give you a new way to use pumpkin puree that doesn’t involve another pie recipe! Pumpkin is a fantastic ingredient to bake with. Like bananas – another popular baking ingredient that is usually used as a puree – pumpkin is versatile. Not only does it make an excellent pie filling, but its high moisture content and mild sweetness translate well to all kinds of baked goods, from breads to cakes.

These easy-to-make bars come together so quickly that you only need a few minutes to put them together. This means that you could whip them up as an after school snack on a busy weekday without putting your normal routine on hold. Once they’re baked, they’re satisfying enough that you could even grab one and eat it for breakfast on-the-go, in addition to simply being a tasty afternoon snack!

The bars are chewy, with a nuttiness from the oats and a nice sweetness from the brown sugar and pumpkin. The toasted pecans add a nice crunch and give the bars a great texture. If you want to make the bars even chewier, you could skip the pecans and stir in the same amount of raisins or dried cranberries in their place. The cinnamon drizzle adds a spicy sweetness to each bite, in addition to giving the bars a pretty finished look.

The bars taste even better the day after they are baked, when the flavors of the bars have been allowed to meld together. Be sure to allow the icing to dry before storing them. They will stay moist and chewy for several days when stored in an airtight container, so if you plan your baking right, you just might be able to enjoy one batch all week long.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Drizzle
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or pumpkin spice extract
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
Cinnamon Drizzle (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, stir together butter, sugars, egg, pumpkin and vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture, followed by the oatmeal. Fold in pecans until evenly distributed.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake for 35-38 minutes, or until the bars spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan.
When cooled, lift the foil out of the pan and cut into 18 rectangular bars. Drizzle glaze over the top of the bars and allow glaze to set for 2 hours before storing in an airtight container.

Cinnamon Drizzle
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. If necessary, add a few drops of milk to thin out the drizzle, but the mixture should be thick. Set aside until ready to use.

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Big Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Big Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I have a bunch of ripe bananas, I’m usually going to turn them into banana bread or some kind of banana cake. Now I don’t know about you, but there are times when I only have one ripe banana ready for baking. And one banana isn’t …

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Big Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I have a bunch of ripe bananas, I’m usually going to turn them into banana bread or some kind of banana cake. Now I don’t know about you, but there are times when I only have one ripe banana ready for baking. And one banana isn’t usually enough for one of those recipes, so I turn from cakes to cookies and bake up a batch of Big Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies instead.

These Big Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies only need one banana to infuse them with some of the same delicious flavors that you find in banana bread. The cookie dough comes together quickly and easily for a snack that anyone who enjoys the combination of bananas and chocolate will love. I make the cookies quite large because I think that bigger cookies offer the best combination of flavors and textures with this recipe.

As is the case with many recipes that use quite a bit of banana, these are a bit lower in fat than some other cookie recipes, so they’re not a bad option if you’re looking for a slightly lighter snack option. That being said, the bananas in these cookies do not replace the fat in the dough. Butter is still needed both to give the cookies a wonderfully buttery flavor, but also to help give the cookies a crisp outer edge.

I always finish these cookies off with a sprinkle of coarse salt before popping them into the oven. While there is some salt in the cookie dough, I find that having a few flakes on top really sets off the flavor of the banana in the finished cookies. Adding the salt is completely optional and, while I do highly recommend it, you can certainly skip it if you’re not a fan of salty-sweet desserts.

The cookies are crisp on the edges and chewy in the center when the come out of the oven. After storage, they lose a little of that crispiness, becoming softer and chewier. The mashed banana in the cookies is what causes them to soften as time goes by, but it also means that the cookies remain fresh tasting longer. Store them in an airtight container if you plan to eat them with a couple of days, or stack them with parchment paper and freeze them for longer storage. They make great ice cream sandwich cookies, as well.

Big Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed banana (1 medium)
2 cups oatmeal (pref. quick cooking)
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
coarse salt, for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract and mashed banana. Stir in flour mixture and oatmeal, then mix in the chocolate chips until well-distributed in the dough.
Shape dough into large 2 inch balls (approx 1/4 cup) and place on baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between cookies to allow for spread.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until cookies are golden brown around the edges and set in the center.-
Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 24 big cookies.

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Giant Kitchen Sink Cookies

Giant Kitchen Sink Cookies

Most cookie recipes only include a few mix-ins at a time. Chocolate chips and walnuts. Raisins and pecans. White chocolate and apricot. These Giant Kitchen Sink Cookies are not that type of cookie. These cookies are loaded with – as the name suggests – everything but …

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Giant Kitchen Sink Cookies

Most cookie recipes only include a few mix-ins at a time. Chocolate chips and walnuts. Raisins and pecans. White chocolate and apricot. These Giant Kitchen Sink Cookies are not that type of cookie. These cookies are loaded with – as the name suggests – everything but the kitchen sink! The recipe for these buttery, chewy cookies includes oatmeal, dark chocolate chunks, shredded coconut and more – making them the perfect recipe for those times when you want to use up whatever is taking up extra space in your pantry.

Not only are they packed with goodies, these Giant Kitchen Sink Cookies really live up to the “giant” title in their name. Each one is made with 3/4 cup of cookie dough, yielding a cookie that is about 6-inches across and big enough to put most “bakery-style” cookies out there to shame. You can, of course, make these as a more traditionally sized cookie by reducing the amount of dough used for each one and reducing the baking time. Reducing the size will produce more cookies, but you might not get all of the goodies in each if you don’t go for the full size treats.

When you read through the recipe, you’ll notice that the cherries, cranberries and pecans aren’t chopped, which they often are in cookie doughs. This is because you want the mix-ins to match the huge scale of these cookies and stand out a bit! That means that coarsely chopped chocolate chunks are an even better choice than chocolate chips in these big cookies. If you want to play around with the mix-ins, dried blueberries make a good alternative to dried cherries and dried peaches can be chopped up in place of the dried apricots.

The huge cookies are incredibly impressive when you bring them out, but they’re really big enough to share with a friend. If you opt to make slightly smaller cookies, you can scale back to using 1/4 cup of dough for each cookie and reduce the baking time to about 14 minutes. No matter what size you bake these cookies to be, they’ll keep well in an airtight container for a couple of days after baking. That said, I like them best when they are still very slightly warm from the oven and those chocolate chunks are a bit melty.

Giant Kitchen Sink Cookies

Giant Kitchen Sink Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup diced, dried apricots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and oatmeal. Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in coconut, dried apricots, raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dark chocolate and toasted pecans until evenly distributed.
Scoop up 3/4 cup of dough into large balls. Arrange on baking sheet, leaving at least 5 inches between cookies. Gently flatten the balls using the palm of your hand or a spatula until they are approximately 4-inches in diameter.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until cookies are golden brown around the edges and set in the center. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-6 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 8 giant cookies.

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Chocolate Chip “Kitchen Sink” Cookies

Being confined for two weeks has been, um, interesting. As someone who works at home, I was, like, “I got this…” But by day two I started getting loopy. As much as I think Romain is the greatest thing ever, it’s hard to be cooped up and not allowed to go out. True, we can go to the grocery store or bakery if we bring…

Being confined for two weeks has been, um, interesting. As someone who works at home, I was, like, “I got this…” But by day two I started getting loopy. As much as I think Romain is the greatest thing ever, it’s hard to be cooped up and not allowed to go out. True, we can go to the grocery store or bakery if we bring a signed attestation with us for each trip we make (good thing we keep plenty of paper on hand for printing and photocopying here all the paperwork) but I was surprised how much I missed the interactions of daily life, much more than I thought.

Today they suddenly closed one of my local bakeries because they didn’t have enough masks and other supplies to protect their employees and customers, and tears welled up when I talked to one of the owners, who I’ve known since they opened the place. I ran over to get a baguette and a loaf of bread. They’re not the only bakery in the neighborhood, but it was sad to see them go and I hope they can reopen.

I knew from living in earthquake country, when this started, to have extra provisions on hand, so I bought a few extra bags of non-perishables like sardines, tuna, canned tomatoes, and pasta sauce. I have tons of grains and pasta always on hand, but I wanted to make sure I had enough butter, eggs, and flour, which I usually keep well-stocked. But when I was at the grocery store last week and saw all those blocks of butter on the shelf, I thought, “Why not?”

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