Well, as much as we can't believe it, Thanksgiving is just a few days away!
I feel as if I'm not ready. I haven't had enough pumpkin things or crunched on enough leaves. So I'll be trying to do that as much as possible from now until Thursday...
Today is a Thanksgiving inspired post. But also one that you can make well into December.
I made these pumpkin bars last weekend for a dinner party. Which was more of a mingle-while-grabbing-food-off-our-large-table type party, so small bites made it easy for guests to pop in their mouth, no fork necessary. And these bites were a hit!
I made the bars the night before, so the day of the party I simply took them out of the refrigerator, cut into squares and topped with a dollop of whipped coconut cream & pomegranate arils.
This recipe is from my friend Alex, over at Delish Knowledge. I love how she made them gluten-free and vegan, so everyone can enjoy them. I tweaked Alex's recipe slightly based on what I had in the kitchen.
These are a cross between a pecan bar and pumpkin pie... I mean, what's not to love!
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pecan Bars
(Adapted from Delish Knowledge)
- 2 1/2 cups raw pecans, chopped
- 5 tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk, refrigerated and then divided (see note below)
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2.5 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
- pomegranate arils, for topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- CRUST: In a food processor, pulse pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt until coarsely chopped. Add in the coconut oil and pulse until mixture is finely ground.
- Line a 8"x 8" pan with parchment paper (or spray with non-stick spray). Press the pecan mixture into the pan and bake 8-10 minutes until lightly colored. Set aside while you make the filling.
- PUMPKIN FILLING: In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and maple syrup until combined. In a food processor, or in a large bowl with a whisk, place the pumpkin puree, sugar, maple syrup and cornstarch mixture, ¼ cup coconut cream (see note below), 2 tbsp. non-dairy milk, vanilla, 1.5 tsp. cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Whisk/process until well combined and blended. It should be smooth.
- Pour the pumpkin filling onto the pecan crust. Tap the pan on the counter to even it out. Bake for about 40 minutes. The pumpkin filling should be set and turning slightly golden on the edges.
- When done, take bars out and let cool on the counter. Then, refrigerator at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- When ready to serve, cut into squares.
- WHIPPED COCONUT CREAM: Place the remaining coconut cream a stand mixer or large bowl with the remaining 1 tsp. cinnamon and powdered sugar. Whip until it is fluffy. I refrigerate the whipped cream until ready to top the bars.
- Serve squares with a dollop of coconut cream and pomengrate arils (or extra chopped pecans).
- NOTE: Refrigerate the can of coconut milk at least 2 hours before making the filling. Then, use the top 1/4 cup layer for the pie filling. The remainder you will use for the coconut whipped cream.
This year Chad and I are cooking lunch for my family. And I have a feeling these bars will make an appearance...