Pumpkin Butter Oat Bars

I’m just gonna go ahead and say it.  If you don’t read Oh She Glows, then you should start.  It’s a great healthy food blog with beautiful pictures that Cait told me about, and now I read it…every day.  But don’t stop reading this blog either.  You can love two of us, right?

This morning I woke up with a raging migraine, so I decided to skip my first class since I knew I had a long day ahead of me.  Some Excedrin, lots of water, and a cup of tea later, I was feeling better.  Since I had a few hours until my second class, I decided to bake!  I read this recipe from Oh She Glows a few days ago and wanted to make it, since I had all the ingredients(except apple juice, but I picked up a big jug of it yesterday because Fritz and I love freezing cold apple juice).

I’ll just jump right in because this is really three recipes for each component.

Pumpkin Butter (I halved the recipe on her blog)

  • one 15-oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 3/8 (I had to divide a fraction!) C apple juice
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 T lime juice

 Combine all the ingredients except the lime juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cover, simmering for about 30 minutes, until thickened.  Stir frequently.

Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.  You only need about 1 to 1 1/2 C pumpkin butter for the next recipe, so once it cools down you can store the rest in the fridge.

While the pumpkin butter is simmering, you can move to the next step: candied walnuts.

Candied Walnuts

  • 1/4 C pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1 C walnuts, toasted

Pre-heat your oven to 275 degrees, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet, and toast them for about five minutes (I hate burnt nuts, so I’m conservative when leaving them in the oven.  You can go longer if you dare).  Place the nuts in a medium bowl.

Bring the rest of the ingredients to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 8 minutes (I think I went a bit too long and got to the “maple candy” stage), until thick and carmelized.  Remove from the heat and immediately pour onto the nuts.  Mix them and spread them out to cool on a baking sheet.

You are going to have to try very hard not to eat all of these immediately.  And I don’t even like nuts that much.

So let’s finish this thing!

Oatmeal Crust

  • 1 1/2 old-fashioned oats
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 flaxseed egg (1 T flaxseed combined with 4 T water, set aside for a few minutes)
  • 1/2 C melted butter (I used SmartBalance)
  • 1/4 C pure maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T skim milk

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the wet ingredients in a small bowl, then add to the dry ingredients.

Line a square pan (I used 8×8 but I’d use a little bigger if I had it) with parchment paper or foil, and spray bottom and sides with canola oil.  Set aside 1/2 C of the oatmeal mix, and spread the rest evenly into the pan.

Pre-bake the base for about 20-25 minutes, until firm.  Spread with 1 to 1 1/2 C of the pumpkin butter, and sprinkle the reserved oatmeal mixture and candied walnuts on top.

Bake for another 10-15 minutes (I needed to go longer to get the bars to be able to hold their shape, but I think my oven temp may be a bit off).  Remove from the oven and cool for about half an hour on a rack and at least 1/2 hour in the freezer before attempting to remove from pan and cut.  Really.  These guys can be messy.

These taste even better than they look–and after you eat one or two, your migraine will definitely be gone.  And if this isn’t enough oatmeal/pumpkin butter/cinnamonny goodness, then why don’t you make a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast inspired by these bars?

I did.

Whew!  A lot of work, but worth it (although, I always say that.  Cooking doesn’t really feel like work to me).  Anyway, I’m off to finish a paper on a child observation I did for my growth and development class, so have a nice night!

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1 Comment

Filed under Desserts

One response to “Pumpkin Butter Oat Bars

  1. These were SO worth that small bite of gluten…

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