I have a secret to share with you. The happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, as they have tricked you into believing. I know, Disney is great, but the happiest place on earth, if you ask me, is actually right in my hometown. Tucked in the northern corridor of Spokane is a very special place called Green Bluff. Green Bluff is a farming community. This community has become a local attraction. This attention has caused it to sprout fantastic coffee shops, gourmet food stores, and fully loaded farm stands. Their busy season is October and early November, and for good reason. Green Bluff farms grow some of the best apples I have ever tasted. Families come bearing buckets, boxes, and pails eager to pick apples from the fruit laden trees. Every year, since I was a small child, I have taken a yearly trip to Green Bluff with my family to do this very thing.
There may not be twisting roller coasters, dashing princesses, or proudly adorned Mickey ears, but Green Bluff is a land filled a magic of its own. The pies are so stuffed full of fresh picked apples it is a wonder they don’t burst right open. The fields of vivid orange pumpkins seem to go on for miles, and the fresh pressed cider tastes like nothing you have ever had before – trust me, the stuff in the store doesn’t have anything on the Green Bluff variety.
This last month my family and I made our annual trip to Green Bluff and we enjoyed it as much as ever. That’s the thing about Green Bluff; it never seems to lose its charm. We started the day digging through bins of newly harvested squash. The varieties were seemingly endless. We ended up with classic butternut, cute and plump acorn squash, vibrant turban squash, sugar pumpkins and a few heirloom white acorn squash. Next, we went to our favorite gourmet coffee shop for a mid-day coffee and snack break – picking squash is hard work! We sipped lattes and caramel apple cider while carameled apple slices were passed around the table. Once the caffeine kicked in we were ready to hit the orchards! We weaved our way through the orchards picking crateful’s of apples. We chose Liberty, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Jonagold, among others. All that was left to do was load up the car, head home, and bake apple recipes into the night.
These breakfast cookies are an ode to Green Bluff. They feature the two most popular purchases for Green Bluff goers – apple and pumpkin. These cookies are chewy, reminiscent of baked oatmeal, and healthy enough for breakfast. I’ll have a couple for breakfast if I’m rushing out the door or pack one for a mid-afternoon snack. Delicious anytime, really!
On a side note – Isn’t my sister adorable!
- 1 cup pumpkin or squash puree
- 1 cup applesauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (I use a fruit sweetened brand)
- 1 cup finely diced apple
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prep two cookie sheets with cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine the pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup, flax, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Fold in the oats, walnuts, cranberries, and diced apple.
Using a 1/4 cup scoop drop cookies onto the prepared cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Using your fingers flatten and shape the cookies into uniform circles. Bake for 20 minutes, allow to cool and serve.
For a nut free option, omit the walnuts or sub in some hulled pumpkin or sunflower seeds!