One of my favorite things about baking during the holidays is all of the fun variations you can make on your basic recipes and dishes. There are so many fun flavors and spices, like cinnamon and pumpkin, that taste great with a variety of other flavors. When they are added to your dish, they completely transform it into something super special and simple, perfect for the busy holiday season.
This year I am not only tweaking some of my favorite holiday recipes, but I’m finding other simple ways to have holiday food on hand, when time is crunched.
As a new mom, I barely have time to make myself a meal, let alone cook for the masses or whip up any fun treats for myself. That’s why I am really focused on finding simple ways to prep meals or buy healthy items that are already made. A lot of our meals lately come from salad kits, grocery “hot” bars, or the occasional take-out. We do our best to keep it healthy and cook when we can, often roasting vegetables or chicken, so our hands can be free while our food cooks.
Baking is also another way to save time when I can, and freezing treats ahead of time is the perfect way to bake a cookie or two when I need it. My new favorite holiday cookies are Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies. The pumpkin adds a hint of flavor that goes perfectly with the cinnamon and nutmeg or traditional oatmeal cookies, and add an extra dash of holiday fun.
The reason they are my favorite, is because they are slice ‘n bake cookies. This is a brand new concept to me (besides purchasing some ready-made break-n-bake cookies), and it has made baking so and cookie eating so much easier.
To make them easy to bake and have on hand more often, I freeze my dough and slice off a cookie or two whenever I am craving one. Having the dough on hand, instead of a mountain of baked cookies, makes it so much easier for me to enjoy a holiday treat, even when things get hectic. I hope you find it makes things a bit easier for you as well.
What you’ll need:
- Recipe ingredients
- Parchment or Wax Paper
- Freezer Bag
Slice-n-Bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
2 1/4 cups flour (gluten free – I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1)
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (1 tsp if using unsalted butter)
3/4 cups organic sugar
3/4 cups packed organic light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (Earth Balance) butter
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp flax seed meal
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 16oz can pumpkin puree
Add all dry ingredients (flour, oats, spices, baking soda, salt) to a bowl and whisk together. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, softened butter and vanilla (you can do this by hand of with a mixer). Add in eggs, chia and flax seeds and pumpkin puree. Mix until combined. Slowly stir in your dry ingredients, incorporating 1/3 of the dry mix at a time. Mix together until all ingredients are combined.
Chill your dough for at least 20 minutes.
*You can bake as usual here if you don’t want to slice and bake. Just scoop a tbsp of dough onto a greased cookies sheet and bake.
Grab your parchment paper and tear off enough for the length of your cookie log (your choice how long) and some extra on the ends. Place all of your dough on the paper and spread out into your “log” shape. Slowly roll the paper along the length of the dough, so you wrap up the cookie log. Tuck the ends under, place in our freezer bag and store until you are ready to bake.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Grab dough log from the freezer.
- Slice off a 1/2 inch cookie (as many as you need).
- Peel off the parchment paper and place on a cookie tray.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Repeat as necessary.
You can do this method with any cookie dough, so you have cookies ready for your own cravings, after school treats or even unexpected visitors. Or maybe those times you just want your house to smell a little like cookies 🙂
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