This past weekend, Hocus Pocus was on cable. Twice. So I watched it twice, of course. Thank goodness LSU’s game was a morning game or I would have been a little torn. Growing up in the 90s, Hocus Pocus just screams Halloween to me. I actually remember my parents not letting us watch the movie at first, because it was rated PG. Yes, I know how sheltered this makes me sound, but I understand. I probably would have had nightmares about my life being sucked out by a witch or something.
I love my parents, but as a kid, they were very strict about what my siblings and I could have. For example, when I got my first CD player, “Santa” included a copy of “Jagged Little Pill” with it, and the minute my mom heard “da*n” from the CD, I had to return it and ended up with Spice Girls. No offense to Spice Girls, but I really wanted Alanis Morissette’s CD. Also, when I had braces, most of the kids in class were rule breakers. They ate sticky candy and chewed gum, but I didn’t dare try that in front of my parents. One of the biggest candies I missed was caramel. Caramel is in so many things I love, like Snickers or a good ice cream sundae. So yeah, the braces phase of life REALLY stunk.
Now that I’m an adult, of course I don’t have anyone to tell me no PG movie or gum for you. I don’t necessarily junk up my life, but it’s cool to have that freedom, especially in the kitchen. A few weeks ago, I noticed these caramel bits in the grocery store and immediately thought of throwing them in cookies. Since it’s fall, of course I had to involve pumpkin, and I found this recipe. The original recipe involved butterscotch chips, but I added caramel bits and dried cranberries instead. Fantastic, right? Oh heck yes. You can’t go wrong with these cookies…in fact, the pumpkin oatmeal base makes it too tempting to add all sorts of fun ingredients to them.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
Source: adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup caramel bits (or you could use chocolate chips)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set those aside.
- Whisk the dry ingredients in a small bowl. (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and salt) Set the dry mixture to the side while you prepare your wet ingredients
- In the bowl of a mixer, mix the butter and sugars for a couple minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and mix until well-blended. Add in the pumpkin puree and mix until well-blended.
- Slowly add in the dry mixture, and mix until just combined. With a spatula or spoon, stir in the oats, dried cranberries and caramel bits (or chocolate chips).
- Using a tablespoon sized scoop, scoop the dough and drop each dollop onto your cookie sheets (giving about 2 inches in between). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies appear to be set and are golden along the edges. When they are done, allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes, and then transfer the cookies to a regular cooling rack until they are completely cool!