Whole Grain Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars with Pumpkin Streusel

Whole Grain Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars with Pumpkin Streusel // www.WithTheGrains.com

The weeping willow has shed so many of her tears, blanketing all but a tiny, undulating trail of sidewalk for my pup and me. Our routine walk has taken us past all her emotions- from full and boastful to drooping sorrow. Half cloaked and half unveiled, her in-between state reflects the season- not quite fall, not quite winter, all over gray with a tinge of the somber. 

Whole Grain Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars with Pumpkin Streusel // www.WithTheGrains.com

If only the willow knew of sunny pumpkins and gourds, with their brilliant orange colors and comforting flavors. Or maybe she does, and the descent of her leaves is more like a sweeping embrace than an ugly cry.

Whole Grain Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars with Pumpkin Streusel // www.WithTheGrains.com

Whole Grain Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars with Pumpkin Streusel // www.WithTheGrains.com

Like the scantily clad willow tree, these bars mark the transition of Thanksgiving to winter holiday baking. Pumpkin bar meets a gingerbread crust with a snowfall of pumpkin streusel and a garland of molasses. Though the willow may be submitting to the coming of the cold season, the fiery red trees seem to defy it, so channel them if you need a little warmth in these gray months. Or bake these, and serve with hot tea.

Bon Appétit!

Quelcy Signature


Whole Grain Pumpkin Bars with Gingerbread Crust & Pumpkin Streusel
Yield: 9×13 pan/about 24 bars

About this Recipe: Pumpkin + Spice on a gingery crust. The molasses drizzle made eaters think the streusel had raisins, so if you’re not a raisin fan, skip the drizzle. I used turmeric in the filling for color and nutrients.

INGREDIENTS

Gingerbread Crust

1 1/2 sticks (12 Tablespoons, 6 oz.) butter, softened (organic/unsalted)
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses

1 cup packed white whole wheat flour (such as King Arthur)
½ cup almond meal

1 Tablespoon freshly ground ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pumpkin Filling

3 eggs (cage-free/organic)
1/2 cup organic light or dark brown sugar, packed
3 Tablespoons local honey
15 oz. pure pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup organic heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pumpkin Spice Streusel

3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup organic light or dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used almonds due to a nut allergy)
3 Tablespoons pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

1/2 stick butter, cubed

Optional

Extra molasses for drizzling

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches overhanging on each side.

For the Gingerbread Crust:

Cream the butter and molasses until light and fluffy.

Add in the flour, almond meal, fresh ginger, vanilla extract, and salt to the machine and mix until dough forms. *Press dough firmly and evenly into prepared pan.

*Note: The dough will be quite tacky. To make smoothing the dough easier, you can put another layer of parchment on top, and use your hands to spread and smooth the dough.

Bake for 15 minutes at 350°F, or until edges are golden.

For the Filling:

In a large bowl, whisk together all the filling ingredients until smooth. Pour over pre-baked crust and spread out evenly.

Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the streusel.

For the Streusel:

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. Add the butter,  and mix until crumbly.*

*Note: You can use your hands to make the crumble, much like mixing pie dough.

Remove the pan from the oven, and sprinkle crumble evenly over pumpkin filling. Sprinkle additional nuts on top if desired.

Optional: Drizzle with molasses.

Return to oven, and bake pumpkin bars for about 40 minutes, or until edges are golden and center is just set. Let bars cool at room temperature before transferring to the fridge to chill for a few hours. Once bars are cooled, lift the overhanging parchment paper out of pan and slice bars.

Enjoy!

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