Pumpkin-Pecan Bars


Pumpkin Bar Base:

2 T. flaxseeds
1/3 cup water
1 cup soy milk
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup date pieces coated with oat flour
1 cup Sucanat


1 1/2 cups vegan powdered sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 t. vanilla
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Begin by preparing the pumpkin bar base: in a blender or food processor, place the flaxseeds and grind to a fine powder. Add the water and blend for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy milk and lemon juice, and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken. Add the canned pumpkin, oil, and vanilla to the soy milk mixture, whisk well to combine, and set aside. In another medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir date pieces into the flour mixture.

Using an electric hand mixer, beat the Sucanat into the reserved flaxseed mixture, and continue to beat over high speed for 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula. Stir in half of the dry ingredients, followed by all of the wet ingredients, and then the remaining dry ingredients, and stir until well combined. Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a 9x13-inch baking pan. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool completely.

While the pumpkin bar base is cooling, prepare the frosting. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled pumpkin bars and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Chill for 5 to 10 minutes to set the frosting. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and cut the pan into 24 equal bars. Store the bars in an airtight container with waxed paper between layers.

Yield: One 9x13-inch pan or 24 bars


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