Pumpkin and Cranberry Cheery 2: Pumpkin cranberry chip cookies

In a recent post devoted to two of my favorite ingredients, pumpkins and cranberries, I stressed that this particular holiday spirited combination is so amazing and cheerfully comforting that I'd probably be adding more recipes featuring the two throughout the season. So, just two days after Thanksgiving, here's an addition as promised, Pumpkin Cranberry Chip cookies. These yummy treats look rather like muffin tops, but rest and taste like cookies (the cake-like kind), and while a bit clumpy in comparison to say, sugar cookies and shortbread, are still pretty enough to tempt your kiddos AND they're loaded with vitamin A,  high in potassium, and include a good amount of other nutrients, including selenium, manganese, vitamin C and more. They're also low in fat as cookies go, and are sweetened with honey. While honey is just as caloric as granulated sugar, it does contain nutrients and enzymes which, though they're consumed in small amounts, make this sweetener less taxing on the digestive system. You can tweak these all you want, too, throwing in chocolate chips, walnuts, or dried fruits, depending on your mood.

I stumbled upon this healthier cookie recipe by accident, hoping to use up pumpkin puree I had made and simultaneously entice a few folks from our triathlon club to join us for an 18-mile run the next morning. I had already made mini pumpkin pies and pumpkin muffins, and wanted something a little different that used what I had on hand and wouldn't make me feel like I was using my long run as a blatant excuse to gorge. I was so happy with the way these turned out (the batter is sticky and as aforementioned, on the clumpy side, and it didn't look like they'd be any good until the very end), I included nutritional info after the recipe. Although I specified amounts of spice included, I must admit I didn't measure so meticulously, and personally, I like to throw in more than recipes typically state, especially when it comes to the pumpkin pie family. Also, you can definitely go with all whole wheat flour as easily as a mix of wheat and white!

Pumpkin Cranberry chip cookies

  • 2 cup whole wheat flour, or 1 cup wheat, 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup honey or 1/2 cup honey plus 1/4  cup brown sugar (reduce as low as 1/2 cup honey only if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice or 1 teaspoon cloves, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg (or more of each to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • 1 cup chopped cranberries or ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • Chocolate chips (optional)

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, spices, and baking soda. Add pumpkin, oil, egg, milk, honey and sugar; mix well. Stir in cranberries, raisins, and chocolate chips if using. Drop/shape by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets prepared with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees F for 13-14 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. Makes between 2 and 3 dozen cookies.

Nutrition info below (does not include chocolate chips) from SparkPeople Recipe Calculator, a fantastic, easy-to-use resource when you'd like nutritional content in a hurry.

Photo credit, Flikr user Maggie Hoffman

Amount Per Serving based on 30 servings
Calories 90.5
Total Fat 1.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 7.1 mg
Sodium 47.0 mg
Potassium 50.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.7 g
Sugars 7.7 g
Protein 1.7 g
Vitamin A 40.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.4 %
Vitamin B-6 1.0 %
Vitamin C 1.6 %
Vitamin D 0.4 %
Vitamin E 2.3 %
Calcium 1.1 %
Copper 1.3 %
Folate 2.3 %
Iron 2.7 %
Magnesium 0.9 %
Manganese 5.7 %
Niacin 1.5 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.6 %
Phosphorus 1.5 %
Riboflavin 2.3 %
Selenium 3.0 %
Thiamin 2.8 %
Zinc 0.6 %