Kabocha Oatmeal Raisin “Cookies”

These “cookies” are inspired by a kind of zhou (porridge) that I eat pretty regularly. For those nights when rice seems too heavy, a bowl of zhou with kabocha squash, oatmeal, raisins, and sometimes nuts is the perfect alternative to go alongside meat and veggie dishes shared family-style.

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I use the quotations in “cookies” because these “cookies” are missing an ingredient that most every other conventional cookie recipe demands, butter. And unlike other recipes that call for oil as a substitute, this recipe doesn’t use any oil either! Instead, the secret ingredient is kabocha squash, a.k.a. Japanese pumpkin, which gives these “cookies” their unique creamy texture.

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Freshly steamed kabocha squash

Kabocha Oatmeal Raisin “Cookies”2014-06-17 20.13.28

Makes 14 cookies


  • 180g uncooked kabocha
  • 15g granulated sugar
  • 15g dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 60g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, broken up by hand


  1. Steam kabocha for 10 min or until soft. Remove the skin and mash with a fork in a bowl. (Note: The skin is perfectly edible; I just didn’t want green cookies!)
  2. Mix together sugars, egg, and applesauce.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two parts and then stir in oats, kabocha, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts.
  5. Chill mixture in the refrigerator for at least a few hours to let the oats soak in some moisture. (Note: The mixture will firm up quite a bit after chilling.)
  6. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon per cookie onto a nonstick cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 15 min. (Note: Cookies will not spread.)image (13)2014-06-17 20.11.302014-06-17 20.12.30

One thought on “Kabocha Oatmeal Raisin “Cookies”

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