These are not pumpkin cookies! You may have heard that the pumpkin spice craze is over, or at least overrated. Do you know what is so much easier to prep for baking than a pumpkin? Butternut squash. Seriously. It makes such a great addition to baked goods, that I’m using it for any recipe that calls for pumpkin. Simply roast a butternut squash flesh side down, and then scoop out of the skin. I added just a bit of water to the purée to get it to the right consistency. One large squash yielded about 3 cups of purée. The rest is in the freezer for the next baking adventure.
The squash in these cookies produces a moist cookie, that doesn’t spread too much while baking and is reminiscent of a scone. It’s perfect with coffee or tea, or as an after school snack. Get the best chocolate chips you can find. These 60% cacao are my favorite for baking. Once the squash is puréed these cookies come together really quick. Like any simple baking recipe, mix the wet ingredients together, then the dry, then gently combine. Fold in the chocolate chips last.
As previously mentioned, these cookies won’t spread out too much. The batter is thick from the squash, and a medium cookie scoop made these easy to scoop. Parchment paper is another great tool for baking – the cookies bake more evenly and it can be re-used if it doesn’t get to dirty.
Not Pumpkin Cookies
1 cup butternut squash purée (see below)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil (we use organic non-GMO certified in the farm kitchen)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small mixing bowl combine butternut squash purée, sugar, canola oil, vanilla, and egg. Dissolve the baking soda in the milk, and add to the squash mixture. In a large mixing bowl whisk together baking powder, cinnamon, flour, and salt. Add squash mixture to the dry ingredients and gently mix together until “just mixed”. Fold in chocolate chips.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop cookies by the spoonful and bake for 10 -12 minutes until lightly brown and firm.
Gluten free variation. Use Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour plus 1 teaspoon xantham gum.
Butternut Squash Purée
1 medium to large butternut squash, split in half, seeds removed
water, if necessary
Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake squash cut side down 45 minutes to an hour, until very soft. Let cool until you can easily handle. Remove skin and purée in a food processor, adding water(up to 1/4 cup) as necessary to create a smooth, bright purée. Store leftovers in the freezer.