RED Hearts: Seasonal Puffy Pumpkin Cookies

RED Hearts are guest posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today.

This is a perfect-for-fall treat in a series of seasonal recipes — things you can cook or bake, usually healthy things, always easy things — for the people you heart! Served up by Erika Kwee, 25, “the baker, photographer and typo-maker” behind vegetarian food blog The Pancake Princess.

Hands down one of my favorite things about fall is holing up in the kitchen with a cozy recipe to tackle: a giant pot of chili or homemade pasta or a spice-scented loaf of pumpkin bread. Squash something is a seasonal must, and this year my favorite snack in the category is these puffy, cakey pumpkin cookies.

These are no ordinary cookies: They’re made up from a base of hearty chickpea flour (healthy and easily found in international grocery stores) and without eggs, thanks to my new ingredient crush aquafaba. It’s a miracle egg-replacing ingredient that’s also known as the brine that surrounds canned chickpeas! (You can learn more about the fascinating properties of aquafaba here.)

I highly recommend picking up these couple of new ingredients to try these cookies out. They’re hearty and lightly sweet, special for fall. Plus, with chickpea flour in your arsenal, you’ll be prepared to make a whole bunch of other delicious things — chickpea friespizzagingersnaps. Happy magical concoctions, happy magical autumn to you.

Healthy Chickpea Pumpkin Cookies
Yield: about 8 small cookies

½ cup chickpea flour
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
dash of ground cloves and nutmeg
¼ teaspoon each: fine sea salt, baking soda, baking powder (gluten-free, if desired)
1.5 tablespoons coconut oil, soft but ideally not liquid
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¾ tablespoon aquafaba (reserved from a can of chickpeas or white beans)
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients (flour through baking powder).

In a separate bowl, stir together the coconut and brown sugar until smooth. Add the aquafaba, pumpkin and vanilla, then mix until thoroughly combined. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use a medium cookie scoop to portion dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (Don’t taste the raw dough — chickpea flour tastes unpleasant when uncooked!). Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until set around the edges. Best enjoyed fresh.