Oatmeal cookies are wonderful, anything pumpkin is irresistible, and date squares done right are sweet bliss. Put them all together and you get these deliciously chewy pumpkin oat bars. Decadent, thanks to dates, nuts, pumpkin, and autumnal spices, these bars also keep well. If fact, the bars taste better on the second day as the spices infuse each bite with the rich aromas of fall. Made with healthy ingredients like coconut oil and spelt flour, Sally’s Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies were the inspiration behind these bars.
If you have any pumpkin left over from making these, you could freeze it for round two, or use the pumpkin to create some uber-healthy Pumpkin Coconut Bites. Since they are like a soft cookie, I recommend serving Pumpkin Spiced Oat Bars with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee or tea. They work well for breakfast, for an afternoon snack, or as a simple dessert. As soon as I restocked my pantry with pumpkin, I baked another batch!
Recipe for Pumpkin Spiced Oat Bars
- 1 cup plain pumpkin puree
- 1 egg yolk, optional
- 3/4 cup coconut oil, vegan margarine, or butter, melted
- 1/4 cup molasses and/or honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups spelt flour or whole white wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned (large flake) oats
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
- 2/3 to 3/4 cup chopped pitted dates (or use raisins, dried cranberries, or chocolate chips)
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). In a medium mixing bowl, combine oil or butter and brown sugar. Blend well. Add egg yolk, pumpkin, and vanilla, and blend until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, oats, spices, salt, baking soda, and coconut.
- Add dry mixture to wet ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined, but do not over mix. Fold in nuts and chopped dates or other fruit.
- Line a 9 X 13-inch (23 X 32 cm) baking pan or dish with parchment. Grease lightly with oil. Pour in batter and spread until an even layer is formed. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 C) for 30 minutes or until the top of the bars are lightly toasted and the center tests done. Be careful not to over bake.
- Allow bars to cool completely in the pan before cutting. Store bars in a covered container for up to a week at room temperature or freeze them to enjoy later.