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Healthy and Decadent? Fall-Spiced Autumn Cookies

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Nothing beats the smell of cinnamon baking in pumpkin spice cookies. The warm, rich scent is equally heart-warming and mouth watering. Luckily, traditionally autumn-inspired ingredients, such as apple, pumpkin and cinnamon, don’t harm your health--in fact, they're downright good for you! If you're looking to cut fat and calories, it’s safe to replace oil or melted butter with applesauce, and to use egg whites instead of whole eggs in most recipes. Read on to discover (and bookmark) a few of the following healthy and delicious autumn cookie recipes.

Apple Gouda Oatmeal Cookies (via The Kitchn)


2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla OR 1 tablespoon dark rum

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 medium-sized apple (about 10 ounces)

4 ounces Gouda cheese, finely chopped (about 1 cup)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk olive oil and egg together in a glass measuring cup until completely combined. Whisk in the vanilla or rum and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking powder, salt, and oats. Stir in raisins.

Peel and core apple, and use the coarse side of a grater to grate the apple (about 1 1/2-2 cups of shredded apple) directly into flour. Stir in apple and chopped Gouda.

Add liquids from measuring cup and stir just until everything is moistened. Dough should be loose and clumpy. Drop large spoonfuls of dough on un-greased baking sheet. Bake for 17 minutes, or until cookies are golden-hued. They will be very soft, so let them cool on baking sheets for five minutes before moving to cooling racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

Yields 24 cookies


1 cup pumpkin puree

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon molasses

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup canola oil

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips (you could replace these with raisins, nuts, or other dried fruit)


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, sugar, molasses, maple syrup, and oil. Sift together flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Add to wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop large (scone-sized) or normal-sized spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm. Transfer to a cooling rack.

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From the Organic Authority Files

Yields 16-24 cookies, depending on cookie size

Pumpkin Pecan Cookies (via Gluten-Free Goddess, gluten-free recipe)

Dry ingredients

2/3 cup gluten-free (GF) buckwheat flour

1/3 cup GF millet flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup tapioca starch or potato starch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Wet ingredients

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening (or organic coconut oil)

Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 large eggs

2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla

1 cup organic light brown sugar

Optional dry add-ins

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup raisins


Whole pecans


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Whisk listed “dry ingredients” together, and then beat listed “wet ingredients” with brown sugar. Add in dry ingredients and beat until combined. Mix in desired add-ins. Cookie dough will be soft and a little sticky. Line a baking sheet with parchment or an Exopat.

Oil hands and form cookie dough into golf ball-sized lumps. Place balls onto baking sheet, and press and flatten dough about half way (not too thin). Press a pecan into the top of each cookie. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until firm, and cool on a wire rack.

Yields 24 cookies

Check out the following fall-inspired cookies for more tasty ideas:

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Sugar

Mini Pumpkin Apple Pies (vegan)

Pumpkin Quinoa Cookies (gluten-free)


Image: Gudlyf

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