I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Hearty Pumpkin Cookies

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My favorite time of year is finally here – pumpkin time!  I love pumpkin – in cake, soup, risotto, muffins, bread and, of course, cookies. I am sure over the next few months my pumpkin obsession will manifest itself with a host of recipes, so be prepared! We’ve just had our first cool days here and I couldn’t resist whipping up an early batch of these soft, hearty and delicious pumpkin cookies.  I love ginger and cranberries, but feel free to substitute any combination of dried berries or nuts like cherries, raisins or walnuts.

Hearty Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups old fashioned oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed

1 cup pure pumpkin puree (from a 12 ounce can), not pumpkin pie filling

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup dried cranberries

½ cup chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two cookie sheets.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.  Set aside.  Cream the butter and both sugars together in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, pumpkin and vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Add the flour mixture and mix well to combine.  Stir in the cranberries and ginger pieces, distributing them evenly through the dough.

Drop 2 Tablespoons of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing about two inches apart.  Bake until the cookies are set and lightly browned, 14 – 16 minutes.  Leave to cool on the pans for 4- 6 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or can be frozen for up to two months.

Makes 2 ½ dozen

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