Harvest Pumpkin Date Bars - Gluten Free and Vegan
Oat Crumble Crust
3/4 C Coconut Oil
1 C Coconut Sugar
1/4 t Molasses
1 C Bob's Red Mill GF Flour
1/2 C Almond Flour
1/4 t Xanthan Gum
1 t Vanilla Extract
1 C GF Rolled Oats
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Sea Salt
Pumpkin Date Filling
1 13 oz Package of Date Paste *
1/4 C Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1/3 C Canned Pumpkin Puree
3 T Unsweetened Apple or Cherry Juice
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper.
Start by making the filling so that it may cool and be easier to handle when building your bars.
Place the date paste and apple sauce in a small saucepan on low heat and combine using a fork.
Next add the pumpkin puree and combine, again I have found a fork works best for this.
Now, add the juice and really stir it up until mixture is warmed through an about the consistency of thick frosting. remove from heat and let cool.
Next make the crust. Start by combining the oil, sugar, molasses and vanilla using a hand mixer on low speed in a medium mixing bowl. It takes a few minutes for the coconut oil to warm up. Be patient and mix until slightly fluffy in texture. In a small bowl combine GF flour, almond flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt. stir mixture well and then add to the oil/sugar mixture and mix on low speed for a minute or two until well incorporated. Next, using a large spoon, stir in the oats.
Okay, it's time to assemble the bars. Press half the oat mixture in to the parchment lined baking pan. I used the bottom of a metal measuring cup - it's tricky and sticky! Now place tablespoons of the filling on top of the oat mixture in the pan. Use a butter knife and carefully spread evenly over the bottom crust mixture. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top and again carefully press down - I used the bottom of the metal measuring cup again.
Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and then carefully lift the whole solid slab out by holding the edges of the parchment paper. Lay this whole thing - parchment and all on a cutting board. Cut into squares and let cool 10-20 more minutes before serving. These store well if you put parchment under and between layers of bars. I did not cover them for storage - but things don't last long around here.