Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on December 13, 2013

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Normally, we have our Christmas tree up by December 1st, but this year we totally dropped the bulb.

It really doesn’t surprise me because I’ve been about 2 months behind throughout the course of 2013. The holidays only serve to enhance this feeling. I’ve still been so busy with book work, despite prematurely thinking that it was finished (hint: it never ends). So, here we are mid-December and there is no tree up yet.

Side note: I still can’t believe I made an advent calendar from scratch last year. Where is that girl? I have no idea where that thing is either….Eric probably got rid of it. If you read the advent calendar post you’ll notice I said these words: “[it’s] a fun advent calendar that can be reused for many years to come…Maybe some day a child of our own will be using this each year.”

hil-arious.

Anyway, back to the tree. The main reason we don’t have a tree is because our tree stand is stored at my brother-in-laws (along with other boxes of junk until we move into a house…bless you, Dave), and we haven’t picked it up. Or should I say, someone went to pick it up (along with our decorations), but the tree stand wasn’t in the box when that someone got home. Oops. The good news is we do have 15 nutcrackers to stare us down while watching TV. Not creepy at all. 

Now we’re at that awkward point in December when we I ask if we even bother to put up a tree this year.

Our convo went a little something like this:

Me – Is it too late to get a tree? Should we even bother this year? [said while feeling lazy and pms-y]

Eric – Ange. We’re GETTING a tree. Don’t be a scrooge! [said while blasting Christmas music at his desk]

Me – Oh no you didn’t! I AM NOT A SCROOGE!

So, it’s settled. We’re getting a tree.

squee!

I’m going to pick the biggest one I can find, just to prove a point. Who needs photography space anyway? I’d rather be a Griswold.

I guess we better make this tree thing happen before the snow arrives tomorrow. I’ll try to take a couple pictures of the tree (that is, before Sketchie knocks down all the bulbs and covers the branches with tiny wisps of tinsel-like fur).

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veganpumpkinbars

Speaking of running 2 months behind, I have a pumpkin recipe for you today! Is it too late?

Probably, but I never really had a solid run with pumpkin this year. Even if many of you are sick of pumpkin by now, you might be happy to know that the pumpkin flavour is barely detectable in these bars, despite having a whole cup of pumpkin puree in the recipe. Yes, that’s a whole cup of vegetables in a holiday snack bar recipe. Who can argue with vegetables over the holidays?

In addition to the hefty amount of pumpkin these bars pack in, there’s also a good amount of iron and other minerals. Over 5 tablespoons of iron-packed blackstrap molasses make these bars ultra-dense and gingerbread-like while providing a healthy dose of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and more. The bars aren’t super sweet, which is why I decided they were better described as a “snack bar” rather than a dessert bar. They are also nice with a cup of tea at night while snuggling on the couch in total hibernation mode.

I added a creamy cashew butter maple cinnamon glaze on top in lieu of an icing sugar glaze. You can also try spreading them with pumpkin butter to enhance the flavours, or they are great plain too. I also recommend throwing a couple bars in your purse (skip the sticky glaze though) as an emergency-holiday-shopping-snack. I don’t know about you, but I think going to the mall in December without a snack in my purse is dangerous. Holiday shopping is cardio and cardio needs fuel! Thanks to the bars being so sturdy, they hold together wonderfully so you don’t have to worry about them breaking apart or getting crushed in your purse. Dainty little flowers, they are not.

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4.4 from 12 reviews
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Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars

Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free

By

These lightly sweet pumpkin gingerbread snack bars are dense, chewy, and filling! Try them topped with my creamy cashew butter maple cinnamon glaze, or enjoy them plain or spread with pumpkin butter. This recipe is adapted from Have Cake Will Travel.

Yield
10-12 bars
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (or granulated sugar of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Dry ingredients:
  • 1 + 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Pamela's brand, see note)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • heaping 1/3 cup dried cranberries.
Cashew Butter Maple Glaze (optional):
  • 2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • pinch of cinnamon, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
  2. In a medium pot over medium heat, stir together the pumpkin, molasses, sugar, and oil. Heat until melted and combined. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. In a blender or food processor, add the rolled oats. Blend on the lowest speed (or pulse, if using a processor) until roughly chopped. You don't want to pulverize it into a flour - the goal here is to keep a coarse texture, with some large pieces of oats and some smaller ones.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (oats, flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cranberries).
  5. Scoop the wet ingredients over the dry and stir well until combined. The mixture will be very sticky and heavy. Totally normal...swear.
  6. Scoop the dough into the prepared square pan. Since the dough is so sticky and dense, it's challenging to spread out smoothly. I placed a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough and pressed down on it with my hands, trying to spread it out evenly as I went. It takes a bit of time, so don't worry! After pressing it as smoothly as I could, I placed a pastry roller on top of the parchment and rolled it smooth while pressing in the edges with my fingers.
  7. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 22-25 minutes (I baked 23) until firm to the touch. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before lifting out the square and cooling it on a cooling rack for another 30 minutes. Slice into 10-12 bars.
  8. For the glaze (optional): In a small bowl stir together all the glaze ingredients until combined. Add the glaze into a plastic bag and snip off the corner so you can "pipe" it on the bars. Or simply spread the bars with the cashew mixture using a knife. Your call.

Nutrition Information

Tips:

Note: If you aren't using gluten-free all-purpose flour, I suggest using all-purpose flour or light spelt flour. Whole wheat pastry flour might work too. If you try anything, please let us know in the comments how it went! 2) Feel free to swap the cashew butter glaze for a simple icing sugar glaze. 3) For a nut-free option, skip the cashew butter glaze.

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Congrats to Jenna K. for winning the Vitamix!! Thank you to everyone for participating. Many more giveaways to come this month!

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Page 3 of 3«123
Stephanie September 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm
Recipe Rating:

Instead of dried cranberries I used cut up candied ginger in these bars. It works well if you love ginger.

Reply

Katie September 24, 2014 at 11:13 am

Can I use regular molasses instead of blackstrap? Is there a big nutritional or taste difference between the two?

Reply

Gwen October 4, 2014 at 10:20 am
Recipe Rating:

I just made these. They are sooo good! I didn’t blend the oats, just added then whole and used brown rice flour and they turned out delicious! Will definitely make these again:)

Reply

Jodie November 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

I have these in the oven right now. My batter was certainly dense/heavy but nowhere near the sticky stuff you seemed to have had. I had barely any trouble spreading it in the pan. I sure hope it bakes okay! I followed the recipe except for the flour. I used whole wheat pastry as I do in most of my baking.

Reply

Jodie November 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm
Recipe Rating:

Alright. I had my first piece. I like how dense they are but all I can taste is molasses. I want to try and use molasses once in a while because it’s so good for a person. . . . . however, I’m not sold on it yet. I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin (although your Brownie Pumpkin Pie with Crunchy Pecan Topping is awesome! It works with whole wheat pastry flour and coconut palm sugar btw) and I was hoping for even a pumpkin flavor once the molasses flavor hit me. I might experiment with less molasses and some honey instead. Overall I’m not unhappy I tried this recipe.

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Crystal November 23, 2014 at 9:10 am

How much pumpkin puree? There are different sized cans.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm

the recipe says 1 cup :)

Reply

Hannah November 29, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I just made these using whole wheat white flour, and they came out perfect! I love the way these bars made the house smell! You are a genius with recipes! I love everything on this site! ❤️☺️

Reply

Kori December 29, 2014 at 4:35 pm
Recipe Rating:

We make these in muffin tins/wrappers so they are lunch-box ready when they come out of the oven! I’m making a double batch today!

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Erin January 10, 2015 at 11:18 am

Has anyone tried freezing these?

Reply

Christa February 13, 2015 at 9:03 pm
Recipe Rating:

I made these this evening. I used gluten free pancake mix from Costco (it has multiple grains in it), and I used much less sugar and added maple syrup and extra cinnamon and ginger. For the icing, I ended up grinding raw cashews in my vitamix, and adding coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon until it was smooth (which oh my word is THAT a deadly combination!)
This is a total winning recipe! Due to my adjustments it was more of a dessert cake to me, but whatever it’s considered, it’s fabulous and very addicting! :)

Reply

Ali December 2, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Would Almond Butter work in place of Cashews?

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lisa December 16, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Have you tried freezing these bars?

Reply

Maureen January 22, 2016 at 7:12 pm

I used almond meal for my flour- worked perfectly!

Reply

Regina January 28, 2016 at 1:23 pm
Recipe Rating:

Made these tonight and they came out so good!! Kept the oatmeal as is and used walnuts in place of cranberries. So chewy and yummy :)

Reply

Susan February 17, 2016 at 12:13 am

Vegan Enchiladas
I slaved in my kitchen this evening, wanting to desperately to try these Vegan Enchiladas. Well it was well worth it the moment I took the first bite. Absolutely heavenly! I’m new at Vegan and this is a real keeper. I added an extra tablespoon of lime juice the Cashew dressing, that gave it a little extra flavor. Of course I love lime with my mexican food.

I’m so impressed. I want to get the book. I give this 10 stars !!!!!

Reply

Rebecca March 31, 2016 at 5:40 pm
Recipe Rating:

Yum! I just made these and left out the coconut sugar and found the pumpkin and molasses to be plenty sweet. Next time I’d cut back on the amount of molasses as well, just because my toddler and are low sugar eaters. Swapped macadamia nuts for cranberries and it added nice ten tire. Thanks for the recipe!

Reply

Alyssa April 3, 2016 at 7:35 pm
Recipe Rating:

Made these last night and used splenda instead of the sugar – and they turned out great! I normally suck at baking, but these were easy enough that even I could make them. The smell of them baking totally put me into the holiday spirit (despite it being April). This morning I heated one up in the microwave, and it made for a very filling breakfast!

Reply

Adena February 13, 2017 at 12:37 pm
Recipe Rating:

My daughter and husband are devouring these right out of the pan. I don’t suspect they will last long, but I’m wondering about storage. How do you store these? Thanks!

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