Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hard Workin' Oven

Last night, I made two things: Jalapeño Roll Ups and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. Both were "Man Cave" approved by my husband and his friends during their card night! I figured I might as well make both in one night so I didn’t have to fire up the oven more than once. Technically though, it’s electric, so there’s no actual fire involved. Details, schmeetails...

First, I made the Jalapeño Roll Ups based on this recipe from Sally's blog, My Homemade Life. The only thing that I did differently was use jalapeños from a jar. I had to slice them myself, but that was easy. Just remember DO NOT rub your eyes or any part of your face unless you scrub your hands really well first. Otherwise, PAIN WILL HAPPEN. Your eyes will burn like heck and your face will itch.

Other than the different jalapeños, I pretty much followed the recipe. The only problem was that I made them really fat, so I only got 16 appetizers out of one tube instead of 32. Not sure how she cut these or if I just rolled them the wrong direction. I’m pretty sure it was that I rolled them the short way and not the long way. Whoops!

You should head over to Sally’s blog for the recipe. She did it the right way, so you should probably learn from her on this one. Plus, she’s got a really fun math explanation for how to slice things. Brilliant and simple! She also has the funniest "Man Cave" explanation here. I'll just share a few pictures from my adventures:

Here's the filling. It would probably be a good dip if you melted it, too.
I think I rolled it the wrong direction...
Pre-baking roll-ups.
I couldn't get a picture of them after because the guys ate them so quick!
Now before I start writing about these great pumpkin cookies I made, please note the following:
DO NOT use the same spatula/flipper, cookie sheets or bowls unless you clean them thoroughly between recipes. I know this probably goes without saying, but I don’t know if you’re like me and think, “Hey, that spatula only got used for 30 seconds to move some crescent rolls on to a plate.” Remember that it got used with jalapeños, and you don’t want that spicy flavor to touch sweet cookies. That would confuse the heck out of your taste buds. Just wash them, OK?

So, about those amazing cookies that I found thanks to Christi’s blog Love From the Oven… 

She was extra super healthy and used white wheat flour. I used all-purpose flour. I couldn’t find pumpkin pie spice in my cupboard at 9 p.m., but I did find apple pie spice. Don’t ask why I always seem to bake late at night, but I think it’s nice to fall asleep to a great smelling house. That, and I never seem to get around to baking until late. Meh. I’m a busy person.

  • 1 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or the healthy stuff like Christi used)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats (note: old fashioned oats are the same thing)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (break up the clumps)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (feel free to use more if you want)
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice (Christi used pumpkin pie spice)
  • One regular sized bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Note: Christi also suggests using mix-ins like pecans, walnuts or raisins. I’d like to add dried cranberries or mini M&M’s to that list, too.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Get all of your ingredients out and ready to go. You might also want to get your cookie baking sheets out, as well.

In a mixing bowl combine pumpkin, eggs and vanilla until well combined. I love that this recipe uses a WHOLE can of pumpkin puree so that I don’t have a random half of a can leftover to use in who-knows-what.

Pumpkin goodness (AKA the wet ingredients)
In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, spices and chocolate chips. Combine wet and dry ingredients until mixed. The cookie dough will be VERY thick. Unless you have a stand mixer, just use a strong spoon and some muscle. I think I could have worn down another hand mixer with these cookies.

Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets about 2" apart. All I did was take a regular cereal spoonful of the dough and pushed it off the spoon with my fingers. It made a nice little round drop cookie. If you want, flatten the cookie dough slightly with a fork. It was great to know ahead of time that these won’t spread out much, so I could fit 15 cookies on each cookie sheet (3 rows x 5 columns).

I already made 30 cookies and had all of this dough left to use!
Can't you tell how it'll make nice chunky cookies?
Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. It's best to remove them from the cookie sheet quickly after baking to prevent them from sticking to the sheet.

Now, Christi said that this makes 36 cookies. I don’t know if I just made smaller cookies or what, but I got 75 cookies out of this recipe! This was a fortunate happening because these cookies are for my husband’s football team’s pizza party. These cookies will be no match for 30 teenage boys. 

The end result. Soooooo gooooood...
What I especially love about these cookies is that they are not only easy and delicious and made my kitchen smell A-MAZING, but they are actually pretty good for you. From the ingredients, you can see that there isn’t any butter or oil and it’s got whole grain oats, so you kind of get the idea that they’re healthy. Then I found this great website where you punch in all your ingredients and it spits out the nutritional facts. It says that these cookies are about 110 calories for two of them. How great is that? Delicious and healthy-ish!

Enjoy and please share your favorite pumpkin cookies or jalapeño appetizers in the comments!

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