PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large sheet pans with parchment paper or a nonstick liner and set aside.
COOKIE DOUGH: In a large bowl, add the pumpkin, egg yolk, almond butter (do not warm up in the microwave), maple syrup, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and ground cinnamon.
BLEND OATS: Grind up oats in a blender or food processor until the oats are the texture and size of regular flour. Make sure to measure the 1/2 cup after grinding the oats so you have a leveled 1/2-cup measurement of blended oats. Add to the cookie dough. Mix dough with a wooden spoon or hand mixer until the dough is smooth and well combined. Coarsely chop the chocolate chips and stir into the batter. Cover dough and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
BAKE: Use a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop out balls of the cookie dough. It is sticky, so use a finger or another spoon to coax the dough from the spoon onto the prepared trays. Smooth and flatten the tops of the cookie dough balls (see the photo in post for the shape of unbaked cookie dough). Space them about 2 inches apart to fit 8 per tray. Bake, 1 tray at a time, for 6-7 minutes. Cookies should still look very soft; watch carefully to not overbake. As soon as the tops are no longer wet/glossy, they are done.
LET COOL: Remove the trays from the oven and let the cookies stand on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes without touching. If desired, press a few more chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies and (optional) a sprinkle of sea salt flakes if you like salty-sweet. Then use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. These cookies are very fragile and will fall apart right out of the oven/while still hot. They set up and solidify as they cool.