Pumpkin Cookie Dough Bars

Chocolate is always in season, and these pumpkin-chocolate bars seem like the perfect way to celebrate the festivities of fall. Thick, buttery fudge smeared between smooth layers of rich puree is reminiscent of cookie dough with an elegant twist.

Cookie Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups organic pecans, toasted according to instructions
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted and chopped coarsely  
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree 
  • 2 teaspoons organic ground pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic or Pink Himalayan Sea Salt 

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup organic unrefined coconut oil, melted 
  • 2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup organic 100% raw cacao powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt 

Equipment/Materials: 

  • Oven: preheated to 375 degrees 
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Food processor 
  • 8×8 baking dish or bread pan lined with parchment paper

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Meanwhile, place the chopped dates in a small bowl and cover with hot water.  Soak for 15-30 minutes, until soft. Drain and discard the water. 

Spread the pecans across a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes until gold brown. Let them cool completely. 

In a food processor, mix the toasted pecans, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice and salt to achieve a cookie dough consistency. Add the softened, chopped dates and pulse until fully incorporated. Work in smaller batches if necessary to ensure uniformity.

Line an 8×8 baking dish or bread pan with parchment paper and press half of the mixture into the base of the pan. Let it sit in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.

Blend the chocolate ingredients together in the food processor.

Remove the baking dish/pan from the freezer and pour the chocolate concoction evenly across the surface of the first pumpkin layer. Return to the freezer for another 10 minutes. 

Distribute the remaining pumpkin mixture on top of the chocolate layer, pressing down lightly. Freeze until ready to serve (at least 30 minutes) and cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

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