Squeal!!! Sally McKenny has a brand new cookbook, Sally’s Cookie Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cookie Bars, Shortbread, and More, and to my delight, there was an outstanding recipe for Autumn Spice Oatmeal Cookies. (page 42) There isn’t one word in that title that doesn’t make me happy. Let me repeat: AUTUMN SPICE OATMEAL COOKIES!! What’s better than fall spices, oatmeal, and cookies??!! I’ll tell you, not much!
Due to my high blood sugars, I’ve been hesitant to bake much lately but I really couldn’t resist these cookies so I decided to go ahead and make them. I thought it was good opportunity to try and turn them into a treat that was a touch healthier and lower in sugar so that I could enjoy them too. I followed the recipe as written making only a few substitutions with regards to the ingredients. First, I substituted the granulated sugar with Truvia Baking Blend Natural Sweetener in order to cut down on the calories. Be aware that Truvia® does NOT measure one-to-one with granulated sugar so it’s imperative that you adhere to the conversion chart that is printed on the side of the bag.
I also cut down the molasses from 1 tbs to only 1/2 tbs, I felt that using a little less would still impart the molasses flavor while lessening the overall calorie and sugar count. Instead of sweetened coconut I used unsweetened as it allowed the texture of the cookie to remain the same without adding the extra sugar. In place of ordinary dried cranberries I used Ocean Spray Reduced Sugar Craisins Dried Cranberries which again saved on calories and sugar. Lastly, I eliminated the pepitas that were called for (simply because I do not like them) and instead, I added half of a finely diced Granny Smith apple to the cookie dough. I adore apples and I thought it would be a perfect addition to these fall inspired cookies.
The cookies were fabulous and were everything you want a fall cookie to taste like. They were chewy, delicious, and bursting with flavor. The best part was that the substitutions I made resulted in an excellent cookie and I certainly did not miss anything by reducing the sugars where I was able to. Of course, these still need to be enjoyed in moderation but it’s nice to know that when a sweet craving hits, I have something on hand that I can eat with minimal guilt.
**I listed to ORIGINAL recipe below noting my substitutions in the parenthesis.**
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (OR 1/8 cup Truvia Baking Blend)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbs unsulphured or dark molases (OR 1/2 tbs)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut (OR shredded unsweetened coconut)
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries (OR Craisins Reduced Sugar Dried Cranberries)
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/2 Granny Smith apple, finely diced (optional)
Whisk the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat on medium-high until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, molasses, and vanilla. Beat on high speed until combined, scrape down the sides as needed.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. With the mixer on low, beat in the oats. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips, coconut, cranberries, and pepitas or apples if using them. The dough will be thick and sticky. Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
Scoop balls of dough, about 2 tbs each, onto the baking sheets, spacing them about 2″ apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will still look a little soft.
Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
**Tip – The cookies will stay fresh for up to a week when stored in an airtight container**