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Pumpkin Pie Spice Bars, Gluten-free / Vegan

These pumpkin spice bars are gluten-free and taste and smell like pumpkin pie. They are so easy to mix together because both the almond-flour crust and pumpkin-coconut cream filling are blended up in the food processor.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword almond flour, dairy-free, easy recipe, food processor bars, Gluten-free, pumpkin, pumpkin pie, thanksgiving, vegan pie
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Author Beth Allingham

Ingredients

  • For the crust
  • 1 3/4 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 2 tablespoons water

For the filling

  • 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree 1 15-ounce can
  • 2/3 cup of the cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk or 1/3 cup, see note
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar I use a scant 1/3 cup to suit my taste, or less if adding frosting, see note
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract recipe here
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Topping Ideas

  • coconut yogurt icing see note
  • chopped pecans or pecan halves or Halloween candies
  • sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  •  Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 X 9 pie dish and line the bottom of the dish with parchment paper, with some sticking out the sides, to make it easier to remove the bars. 
  • To the bowl of a food processor, add the dry ingredients. Process to mix. Then add the water while processing, until a dough starts to come together. You should be able to squeeze it between your fingers and it will hold together, so you may need to add another teaspoonful of water if it's too dry for that. 
  • Dump the crust into the pan and press it into the bottom. Make the layer as even as possible. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
  • While the crust is baking, wipe out the bowl of the food processor (or don't, if you are lazy like me and have decided that any leftover crust bits will just get mixed into the bar filling) and put it back on the base. Add the filling ingredients and process until smooth. Allow to set for 5 minutes to give the flax seed time to gel in the liquid.
  • Stir once more, then pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth over, if needed, with a spatula or spoon.
  • Bake the pie for 60 - 65 minutes until the filling jiggles a little in the center. 
  • Remove the pan of bars and let cool for at least 1 hour. Cover the pan, then transfer to the fridge and cool another 4 - 6 hours, for best results, or overnight. 
  • Slice and serve with cinnamon-spiced pecans, coconut yogurt frosting, Halloween decorations and/or a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. 

Notes

You can easily double the recipe if you use a 29-ounce can of pumpkin puree. Don't use pumpkin pie filling, as it's already sweetened.
An undisturbed can of full-fat coconut milk will have about 2/3 cup of coconut cream on top. If you want to make sure the coconut cream gets separated, place the unopened can in the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight. Spoon the cream off the top, rather than pouring it from the can. Save the remaining coconut water for a smoothie or other recipe.
If you want your bars to be firm enough to stack, reduce the coconut cream from 2/3 to 1/3 cup. This will give darker-looking bars like the ones shown with the pecans. The lighter-looking ones with the frosting and Halloween candies contain the 2/3 cup coconut cream.
To make cinnamon pecans, drizzle a little olive oil over about 1 cup of pecans and stir to coat. Then sprinkle on about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 7-10 minutes (sea level) or 12 minutes (in high-altitude Denver).
Recipe adapted from this one.