There is a Whole Foods close to where I work, so I eat there for lunch at least twice a week. I’m pretty addicted to their vegan “chicken” salad. Yesterday, as I was strolling in to pick up my regular order, a bright, orange display caught my eye. Before I could stop myself, a gasp escaped from my lips: pumpkins. I am not kidding. I take pumpkins very seriously.
I know I mentioned that it would still feel like summer around these parts for several more months, and I wasn’t lying. The 5 day weather forecast for Austin is: 94°, 92°, 94°, 88°, 99°… you get the idea. We’ll be lucky to hit the mid 80s by the end of September, although the record high for the 30th was a whopping 97°. See? No fall in sight around here.
Still, despite the heat, it’s hard to resist Autumn’s charm. When I saw the pumpkins just sitting there, so cute and so gosh darn charming, it took every ounce of my self control not to buy a few. The Cinderella pumpkins especially. They remind me of my beautiful mom, who creates an elaborate Autumn display on her front porch every year. The woman certainly knows how to decorate.
It might be too early to buy pumpkins, but it’s not too early to start making pumpkin-flavored treats, right? I happened upon a recipe for “Oatmeal Pumpkin Cream Pies” that one of my friends from high school had recently added on Pinterest, and I knew immediately that I had to make a vegan version.
The process didn’t go 100% smoothly. My frosting turned out too thin, and my cookies turned out a little chewy. But you know what? They do taste like fall.
Here is the recipe that I used. I swapped out the non-vegan ingredients below with vegan ones.
Vegan Oatmeal Pumpkin Creme Pies
Yields 30 Mini Cookie Pies
Recipe modified from Sally’s Baking Addiction
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1 Ener-G Egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 2/3 cups old fashioned rolledoats
- 1 cup all purpose flour
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz. vegan cream cheese (I used daiya), softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons earth balance butter, softened
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp ground cinammon
- 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Beat the softened butter and sugars together on medium-high speed with a handheld or a stand mixer. Once smooth, add the Ener-G egg and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk the baking soda, cinnamon, oats, and flour. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Chill the dough for at least one hour (and up to one day) in the refrigerator. Skipping this step results in flat, sad cookies.
- Once dough is chilled, preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and roll 2 teaspoons of dough into a ball and place onto prepared sheet. Bake for 9 minutes and let cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack.*
- While the cookies are cooling, prepare the pumpkin frosting. Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin, and spices on medium speed until creamy. Add your sifted powdered sugar. If you’d like it a little sweeter, feel free to add up to 1/2 cup more. If the frosting is too thin for your liking, add in a little flour to thicken it.
Spread a generous amount of frosting on the underside of a cooled cookie and sandwich another cookie on top. Eat them all.
*The original recipe said to cook for 9 minutes, but I had to cook mine for closer to 20. Perhaps my oven, which is ancient, doesn’t get as hot as it should, or perhaps I overcooked them and that’s why they’re chewy. Who knows! I also didn’t end up using even remotely close to all of the frosting, and I wish I had thickened it even more than I did. Even though, these were yummy. I don’t imagine they’ll last long.
It was a bit rainy and gloomy today. It looked like October. I can’t believe it will be here soon.