Alright already. I get it. You like pumpkin. You want to eat pumpkin all day long, every day. Pumpkin in everything, pumpkin on everything, pumpkin sweets, pumpkin soup, pumpkin crafts.
I get it.
But I’m not giving in to your whims, no matter how much your demands drive me bonkers.
There are other fall flavors out there, you know. Not everything has to be about pumpkins.
[Side note: I eat winter squash every day. Without fail. I am, indeed, obsessed. The difference is that I don't make a big to-do about it. I jsut eat it, savor it, and go on with my day. Not that I'm saying you should do that. I'm just saying that's what I do. And I'm usually right.]
Let’s not forget about the delicate cranberry. The hardy apple. The sweet, thick molass. (Let’s pretend that’s the singular version of molasses.)
And what about poor, misunderstood, spicy, and hard-to-pronounce sassafras?
Fall is my favorite time of year, flavor wise. I usually don’t feel like I cook with spices and seasonings that scream of the season as much as I do in the fall. Summer screams basil and, really, I could take it or leave it.
But fall, with the tartness of the cranberry (yeah, I made that cranberry goodness up there. I’l tell you about it another time), the kick of ginger and cinnamon, the sweet density of winter squash, and OH MY GOD don’t even get me started with sage.
I would write poetry about these flavors if I weren’t a scientist who mocks poetry. It’s true what they say – you mock what you don’t understand. I try to ‘get’ poetry, but I just….don’t. My brain isn’t wired that way.
Before that little weird digression, I mentioned sassafras. Remember?
Sassafras, or sassy-fras if you are like me, is an herb made from the root bark of a the sassafras plant. Traditionally, it was used to flavor root beer until the FDA banned it because they like to ban everything that tastes good and bring enjoyment to life of some medical side effects.
Not to worry, the side effects only affect those who eat HUGE doses. I used about three drops of the extract in these cookies.
It’s got the sweetness of root beer, with a licorice taste, but without the intensity of licorice.
Because I’m a sucker for all the fall flavors, I loaded these bad boys up with all of them. Expect pumpkin. You’ll find none of that here.
Spiced Molasses Cookies
- 1 1/3 cups oat flour (about 120 grams)
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup margarine (or butter or coconut oil)
- 1-2 T molasses (depending on how heavily spiced you want them)
- 1 cup sugar (I used 1/3 Stevia Baking Blend and 2/3 erythritol)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 2 drops sassafras extract
Preheat oven to 325. Get your cookie sheet ready, however you choose to do that. (Silpat. Get one.)
Cream together the egg, margarine, sugars, and molasses. Add the dry ingredients and the spices and mix until well combined. (Note: the best part about gluten free baking is that you don’t have to worry about over-mixing – there’s no gluten to over mix!)
Dough will be slightly sticky, so I used a cookie scoop. If you use coconut oil or butter, the dough will be more sold and moldable. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with more sugar and some cinnamon if you are so inclined.
Bake for 8-9 minutes.
The first time I made these, I pulled them out after 10 minutes. They tasted three days old that afternoon. The next time, I left them in for 8 minutes and they were perfect for days.
Moral of the story? DO NOT OVER-BAKE. This is the cardinal sin of baking. Dry, crumbly cookies are no bueno.
Not to toot my own horn, but the flavor of these is perfect. Not too sweet, not too spicy, and just begging for a mug of coffee. Or tea, if that’s your poison.
What’s your favorite fall flavor? Do your eating habits tend to change with the seasons?