I love fall, plain and simple. I pretend that spring really is my favorite season because that’s when the sun is always shining after a freaking cold winter and love is in the air and everyone in town suddenly owns a puppy and it’s my birthday – but really, autumn is my favorite. Summer here in Boulder has been ridiculous. As in, so-hot-you-can’t-even leave-the-house-some-days ridiculous (bear with me here if you’re a hot weather lover and you live somewhere with a much higher average temperature). I’m a baby about heat. So when sweet, crisp fall air starts to linger, I’m excited. It also means ski season is right around the corner.

Today it’s gray and rainy and cold. Finally. What do you do when it’s like this outside? Me, I pull on my über-long above the knee argyle socks and warm up the house with the oven. But what to put in the oven?

Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Fall Spice Cookies, which I just made up. I’d show you a picture but I ate them all and now it’s too late. So maybe next time. I made them last night and ate them for dinner. And then I ate them again this morning for breakfast. Since I neglected to take a picture of the cookies themselves, here’s an autumnal-looking picture of my friend Hannah and my boyfriend Peter walking up a hill.

If you’ve already started eyeing the recipe, don’t worry. They’re healthy (enough to justify eating multiple) and delicious. I know, I know, you see the avocado and you’re freaking out a little. But believe me, you can’t taste it and you’ll feel much better about that than the 2 sticks of butter the recipe would have otherwise called for. And the coconut gives it a nice slight sweetness without being too sweet. If you want to make these vegan, all you’d have to do would replace all of the butter with avocado and get rid of the egg. Voila! To give the cookies a special autumnal feel, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger will really pull this cookie together. If the spice belongs in a pumpkin pie, it can work in this cookie.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Fall Spice Cookies

1 C brown sugar
1/4 C butter (half a stick)
1 half to whole avocado
1 T coconut oil (it will change your life and make EVERYTHING delicious)
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 C oats (either rolled or quick-cooking)
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 C dark chocolate chips
Spices, to taste: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger (experiment!)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir brown sugar, butter, 1/2 to 2/3 of the avocado and coconut until blended. Stir in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in oats, spices, flour, baking soda and salt; add more avocado if the mixture is too dry. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. Onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I used parchment), drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.

3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Enjoy! Get cozy by a fire with someone special (in this case, that’s my cat), or curl up in a favorite piece of furniture (mine is a dwarf-looking orange corduroy armchair with a detached wheel I got for free from some friends when I moved in) with a book and hot chocolate or milk or chai (I dipped my cookies in soymilk and it was perfect). Most of all, take pleasure in the weather! Get excited about wearing scarves and overly cushy sweaters.

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