These Pumpkin Date Sandwich Cookies Are The Perfect Thanksgiving Dessert
How do you show thanks? For me, it’s often through food. There is seriously nothing better than taking some time to prepare something for those that mean the most to me in my life. It’s a chance to slow down, and give some thought to all the things that I have without any outside distractions…texting becomes a bit of a challenge with hands full of batter after all!
For beginner bakers, this may seem like a stressful or daunting task. Does thanks look like a fallen soufflé? I am all for pushing your culinary limits and trying new recipes, but those recipes should never be tested at the Thanksgiving meal or when you are making a gift for someone (I have learned this lesson the hard way!). Save those recipes for quiet Sunday afternoons, and stick to easier, more forgiving recipes, or those that are tried and true in your repertoire. Your adrenal glands will thank you, and you will enjoy the process that much more.
I am a self-confessed cookie monster, and years of cookie making have given me the confidence to enjoy the experience and not have to worry so much about the final product. While it’s often said that baking is a science, there is an art to knowing when the batter is just right, or the intricacies of your oven’s hot spots. Cookies, even for the novice baker, have a pretty wide margin of error on this because, well, no one has ever said no to an under-baked cookie. And if your cookies happen to spread into one big one, just break off pieces and top with some good vanilla ice cream; you planned it that way, right?!
What’s also great about cookies is that ingredients can be fairly easily swapped to up their health quotient, or meet any dietary need. Fruits, such as pumpkin or banana can help replace some of the fat, while binders like flax or chia can work wonders where egg is called for…and I dare anyone to challenge the deliciousness of a cookie baked with spelt or whole grains flours. Their inherent nuttiness just adds to their overall awesomeness. You can also freely add spices like cinnamon where you see fit, which has the added benefit of bringing not only a sweet heat to your cookie, but is a great ingredient for helping to stabilize blood sugar levels as well.
My gift of thanks this year will be these pumpkin oatmeal date-filled wonders. If you aren’t into the effort of making the sandwich cookies, skip the date filling and just serve as is; maybe with a cold glass of almond milk, coffee or hot spicy chai tea.
Pumpkin Date Sandwich Cookies
Makes about 20 sandwiches
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup pumpkin purée
- ¾ natural cane sugar
- 1 cup whole brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon organic vanilla
- 2 cups spelt flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 cups rolled oats
For Date Filling
- In a large mixing bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer, combine coconut oil, pumpkin, and both sugars. Beat until well combined and fluffy. Add eggs in one at a time and continuing beating until fully incorporated. Add vanilla.
- In another mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Mix to combine.
- Add dry mixture to wet mixture and stir until just combined. Add in oats and continue mixing until mixture just comes together.
- Transfer baking to plastic wrap and cover. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter and roll into a ball. Place on cookie sheet leaving a few inches around each cookie.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine dates, almond butter, and lemon juice. Blend on high until a paste forms (you may want to add a splash of water to loosen a bit if your dates are too dry).
- Spread date mixture on one side of half of the cookies. Top with the other half of cookies to make the sandwich.
Lynsey Walker is a Toronto-based nutritionist, and the blogger behind the food/wellness site lynsey loves food. Each week Lynsey writes about her favourite recipes, nutrition and outlook on healthy eating. By inspiring people to get back to eating real food, and fostering healthy relationships with what they put in their bodies she is on a mission to shake up the world of nutrition, and redefine what it means to eat healthy.