Squash-Spice-Nut-Chocolate-Cranberry cookie

A combo of flavours enhanced with squash and spices introduced this cookie.
Chocolate, cranberries and nuts join in to offer an exquisite bite.

I'm still appreciating the beauty of Autumn in our surrounding neighbourhoods.
Creativity abound with yet a few more pumpkins embellishing facades.

At the end of October and during these periods...
I accumulate a wealth of different squashes.
Everywhere I go...there they are begging to be brought home.

I usually roast a good amount of them and then mash the pulp.
Several packages get ready to be stored into the freezer for future recipes.
This practical ritual has certainly stirred my imagination over the years.

Around this time of year, I can't help but bake a batch of these cookies.
Every time I make them, I realize how versatile the recipe has become.
Many ingredients have been integrated with lovely outcomes.

Two gluten-free versions have also been added with surprising results.
Other than the combo with raisins, the one with cranberries, remains my favourite.

So many more goodies to share as I use squash in so many ways.
I just could not let another day go by and not share these cookies with you ;o)

Squash - Spice Cranberry Chocolate Nut cookies

Cake-like cookies with a crispy edge
yields 28 medium-size cookies
No electric beater required

(American measures)

WET mix:
. 1 xLarge egg
. 1 (scant) cup Squash*, roasted, cooled, mashed
. 1/3 cup vegetable oil (grape seed oil preferred)

DRY mix:

. 1 cup All-purpose flour
. 1 cup Whole wheat flour
. 3/4 cup granulated white sugar

. 1/2 cup dried Cranberries (or dates or raisins)
. 1/2 cup  roasted Nuts, coarsely crushed 
. 1/2 cup bittersweet Chocolate chipits
. 2 tsps. baking powder 
. 1 tsp. baking soda 
. 1/2 tsp. sea salt 
. Spices: (all or some)
. 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
                 . 1/8 tsp. ground anise seed
. 1/8 tsp. ground ginger 
. pinch of ground cloves 
. strong pinch of ground nutmeg

* Squash variety preference: Ambercup, Buttercup, Kabocha (aka 'Sweet Mama').  Can also be successfully replaced by canned pumpkin.


Gluten-free variation )(with same spices):
. Use equal parts of Sweet Sorghum white flour and very fine Brown rice flour.
Add 1 tsp. of Apple cider vinegar to the wet mix
...or another successful blend: ...
.1/2 cup Coconut flour
.1/2 cup Buckwheat flour
.1/2 cup Chestnut flour
.1/2 cup Tapioca flour (or Arrowroot)
Add 1 tsp. of Apple cider vinegar to the wet mix

IBS (Gluten and Grain-free) variation )(with same spices):
. 3/4 cup Sweet Sorghum white flour
. 3/4 cup Buckwheat flour
. 1/2 cup Almond flour
.1/2 cup Arrowroot flour
.1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded Coconut
Add 1 tsp. of Apple cider vinegar to the wet mix


. Pre-heat the oven to 350F
. Position the rack in the center of the oven.
. Prepare 2 large, Silicone or parchment lined baking sheets.
1. In a medium bowl, whisk ALL wet ingredients together until combined.  Set aside.
2. . In another large bowl, combine ALL dry ingredients.  Give this mix a good whisk and make a well in the center.
3.  Then, pour in the wet mix.  Use a strong spatula to gently combine both mixes until there are no traces of flour.  Do not over mix.  The cookie dough will be slightly thick and somewhat sticky.

4. With the aid of a medium size (#30) ice-cream scoop, pack and level the cookie dough.  Place 14 mounds about 2 inches apart per baking sheet.  Note: A heaping tablespoon can also be used to drop dough onto the cookie sheet.
5. BAKE one cookie sheet at the time for no more than 16 minutes.  Remove the cookies from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool off completely.
STORAGE: It's best to store them into the refrigerator for a maximum of 4 days.  Otherwise, it's best to freeze them within parchment paper and into a freezer bags.  Re-heat at a low temperature for about 10 minutes every time you take some cookies out. 

With a few leaves left on our trees, I can still remain content in...
what's left of my favourite season.

Have yourselves some lovely Autumn moments of your own...
 and don't forget to stir up the imagination.  
Let's get baking.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

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