Here's the thing. Sometimes we all make food that looks like crap. It turned an undesirable shade of brown, green, black; it has unsightly lumps; it looks half eaten when whole. Some people—I presume—immediately throw it away. My banana bread has cellulite! they wail, or no one will eat a chicken that looks like it has SARS.
I'm not that person. If tastes good, I'll eat it, fried caper boogers be damned.
So it was with these cookies, which came out of the oven an unfortunate shade of brown, punctuated by light white oats. I suppose no one on the internet will eat these now, I thought, and consoled myself with a cookie.
Hey. These are pretty good. No. No one will eat these! What do you think the internet is, UNDISCERNING? Back to the drawing board posthaste!
Another hour later, too lazy to get back into the kitchen for anything other than a snack. Hey. These are pretty good. Better than before, even.
It turns out my husband feels the same way regarding aesthetics (of food only, I hope)—he quickly grabbed a cookie as soon as they came into his line of sight. He confirmed that they tasted good; that they tasted of pumpkin, of spices, of molasses, and chips of bittersweet chocolate. He liked the texture, which was soft but not cakey thanks to the big, chewy, extra thick rolled oats.
It seems that despite being less than cute, these cookies manage to serve their purpose, which was an experiment to design a pumpkin spice- oatmeal- chocolate chip cookie hybrid. If you, too, have always wished that you could have a cookie that married pumpkin with a chocolate-chip oatmeal cookie and added molasses, brown sugar, and spices for fall, then make these. Just don't show them to anyone else.
Note: Like many spice cookies or cakes, these taste even better the next day.