Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gluten Free Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies

Confession: I fully realize it would have been much more beneficial to you if I posted this recipe before Thanksgiving, but life has been a little busy of late. I don't know if I've told you, but there have been some pretty exciting changes in my life over the past few months. In early September I quit my full-time job as a PR manager at a branding agency to... drum roll please... go to culinary school! I'm currently enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in Manhattan, and am doing a dual program, taking Culinary Management and Culinary Arts classes. Basically I'm learning all about the business side of the food industry, as well as further developing my cooking skills (and trust me, there is a lot more developing to be done). It's been an incredible experience so far, and I have already learned so, so much and met some amazing people. I hope to share my experiences with you here over the next six months (both programs end in April, and then it's time to find this girl a job). 

But enough about me. Let's talk about these cookies. Personally, I love and can't get enough of them. And I think my friends, who I forced to be taste testers, would agree. I've probably made these at least a half dozen times since I perfected the recipe (it took about three tries to get it right).

I often find that gluten-free cookies can be really dry (depending on where you get them and who bakes them), and I hate that. Why should we have to suffer? I wholeheartedly feel that gluten-free baking can be just as good as gluten-full baking as long as you have and use the right combination of ingredients. And it may mean almost overcompensating with moist ingredients sometimes (in this recipe, the pumpkin puree adds a ton of moisture, but in other recipes I sometimes double the amount of eggs or add applesauce). Regardless, I love these oatmeal pumpkin cookies, full of fall flavors like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and hope you do too. And hey, even though we're past Thanksgiving, who says you can't bring these to your annual holiday cookie exchange, or bake them for your favorite family and friends?

Gluten Free Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies

Time: 40 minutes total, 25 minutes active
Servings: 2 dozen cookies

1/2 cup butter, slightly softened but still cold
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves

Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
Combine flour mixture in medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar and with hand or stand mixer, blend until smooth.
Slowly add pumpkin puree, then vanilla extract.
Slowly add flour mixture into sugar mixture and blend until fully combined.
Using a small spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out clementine-sized balls of dough.
Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper (makes cleanup much easier), and line three to a row. Cookies will not expand much.
Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden and slightly crispy on top. If unsure, stick a toothpick through the center of a cookie to test doneness. If it comes out clean, the cookies are done.

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