Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate & Cranberries

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The last two days have been filled with everything baking and a lot of trial and error.

I had been looking forward to trying out zucchini bread, as I’d made zucchini muffins and cookies previously and they both turned out great. So yesterday I got to it & baked my very first zucchini bread loaf! What a let-down… it was the nastiest zucchini bread I’ve ever tasted. It was my first time making zucchini bread and I think it may be my last. That’s how bad it was. It turned me right off, and I doubt I’ll be baking with zucchini for awhile now.

Since my love affair with zucchini died – today I’d decided I had waited long enough and it was time to start baking pumpkin goodies!

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YAY for PUMPKIN! Move over zucchini – there’s a new vegetable in town.
(Is pumpkin a fruit or vegetable?! I will admit, I had to google it – apparently it is technically a fruit, but is accepted by many as a vegetable. I’m just going to go with vegetable. It just seems more veggie-ish.)

My mom had told me to wait until October to start baking with pumpkin but I just couldn’t wait. (October! Who can wait till October to start baking with pumpkin? Definitely not I. Sorry Mom!) 

Like many bakers, I have a massive crush on pumpkin.
Pumpkin = Moist, Healthy, Sweet & Spicy Goodness. Who can resist?
I adore the flavor and will literally eat anything with pumpkin in it. (Anyone tried homemade pumpkin pasta or ravioli and know of a good recipe? I’m thinking about trying it out soon!)

For my first pumpkin recipe of the year, I decided to bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate & Cranberries – and they most definitely did not disappoint.
Besides the minor setback of almost burning the house down (yes, that happened – don’t ask. 😉 ), the cookies turned out perfect and my pumpkin craze has now officially started. (Be prepared for lots of posts on pumpkin-flavored baked goods!)
Bring on the Fall! 

If you’re looking for the ultimate chewy, moist, pumpkin-spiced, oatmeal cookies – this is the recipe for you! The pumpkin combined with the oatmeal, plus the addition of the white chocolate chips & cranberries give this cookie amazing texture, and tons of flavor. It is definitely one of my favorite pumpkin recipes!

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate & Cranberries

Ingredients:
(yield: 48-52 cookies)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pure pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.

2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice & salt in medium bowl.

3. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add the flour mixture and combine until all ingredients are incorporated.
Fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.

4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.

5. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for approx. 2 minutes than remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Note: Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Happy Start-of-the-Pumpkin-Season Baking!
I’m looking forward to seeing all the pumpkin recipes start to pop up.

Natasha xo

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This is Zeus, aka Zeusie, Zeusie-Zoo, Zeuser, Doodie-doo, Dooder, Mr.Z, Poopie-Poo, Baby, Little Man. (He’s a dog of many names)
He’s our 13 year old fur-baby and the love of our lives. We just got a new DSLR camera and of course the first thing I do is shoot some photos of Zeusie. It was late at night and he was sleepy but I couldn’t resist, I had to sneak a couple photos. He was just looking too cute. Adorable ain’t he? 😉

Go B-A-N-A-N-A-S Cake

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We’ve went and gone bananas over this cake!

After my zucchini baking phase, I decided to switch things up a bit. Since I really enjoy fruit in baked goods, I decided to make a banana cake!

This cake tastes exactly like the banana bread that your grandma used to make, except without the hard (almost burnt) outer crust and the thick density of the loaf.
You get the same good ole fashion banana bread taste in a beautiful iced cake!
And lets face it – a cake is a lot more visually appealing than bread and is a lot funner to decorate! 😉

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(Add some chopped walnuts if you want an extra crunch!)

This cake really does have the perfect amount of bananas. Not too much that it overpowers everything, and not too little that you can’t even taste it. Not only is this cake fluffy, moist and light – while its in the oven, your house will smell like a sweet banana haven. While the cake was baking, I couldn’t wait to get it out of the oven and take a bite! Nummerz! You are going to want a piece right away – the smell is so mouthwatering and aromatic! (This is the cake to make if you are having guests over and want to impress them with something delicious-smelling baking in the oven hehe. 😉 )

Go B-A-N-A-N-A-S Cake
Moist banana cake topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 cup sour cream
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approx. 3-4 bananas)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  3. 3 – 4 cup confectioners sugar (to your preference – I used 3 cups)
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. dash of nutmeg
  6. chopped walnuts {optional}
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9″x13″ inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer (using the paddle attachment), cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth. Switch from the paddle attachment to the beater/whisk and beat in eggs slowly, one at a time. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla until evenly mixed.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and whisk a few seconds until mixed. Pour the dry mix into the wet mix and stir together. Lastly, mix in the mashed banana. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 25-35 minutes, {start checking at 25 minutes as oven temperatures vary – I kept my cake in for 34 minutes} or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing!
To Make The Frosting
  1. In the bowl of your mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla extract and the nutmeg. Using a spatula or your preferred tool, spread frosting evenly on the cooled cake. Top with chopped walnuts! {optional}
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/

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Happy Baking!
Natasha xo