Last Thanksgiving I was in charge of making gravy, salad and pie. Heck, if I could make the entire Thanksgiving spread I totally would. As exhausting and overwhelming as it would be, I feel as though bringing everyone together though food I made would be completely worth it. In fact, one of my favorite parts about being a cook and baker is seeing the reaction of people’s faces once they taste a dish I’ve made. Cooking for others always feels like it’s my way of letting them know that I truly care and appreciate them; there’s just something magical about it. In a sense, it’s actual gift giving; cooking and baking require thought, love and time.
I have no doubt that some of you feel the same, especially those of you who LOVE to bake.
I also know that sometimes it can be fairly difficult to cater to those with special dietary needs. If you don’t have a diet restriction yourself it’s hard to know where to begin, if the ratios make sense, how it will taste, etc. While I’m not gluten free, I do love to experiment while baking (as you probably know).
After collecting your responses from my reader survey, I was surprised that many of you are indeed gluten free and/or dairy free. Thank you so much for taking the time to fill that out; referencing the survey has been very helpful for me as I continue to grow AK and think about the possibility of a cookbook. I promise to try and include more gluten free options for you in the future, like these super delish pumpkin pie bars.
These bars are just wonderful. They’re dairy free and gluten free and I’m quite certain they could perhaps be vegan, too. The crust is made with oat flour (you’ll make your own), rolled oats, brown sugar, vanilla, coconut oil and pecans. The filling with Go Veggie! Plain Cream Cheese, pumpkin, a few spices and an egg to hold it all together. Then the filling is topped with a little bit more oats and brown sugar which essentially bakes right into the pumpkin.
I loved using the Go Veggie! Cream Cheese as it made the filling super creamy. It won’t taste like cream cheese once you add the spices, but instead a velvety, smooth filling. Best of all the cream cheese is actually dairy free, gluten free and vegan!
So if you’re ready to whip up a gluten free dessert for Thanksgiving, look no further. Please note that these will need to be made at least 2-4 hours ahead of time in order to set properly. I tried them cold, but I’m sure they’d also be delicious warmed up with ice cream on top (omg would that taste like pumpkin crisp?!).
Pumpkin Pie Bars with Brown Sugar Oatmeal Crust (gluten free & dairy free!)
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour
- 1 cup gluten free oats
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- For the filling:
- 4 oz Go Veggie! Plain Cream Cheese
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper so that you're able to easily remove the bars after.
In a large bowl, combine oat flour, oats, baking soda, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
Stir in melted coconut oil until the mixture is crumbly and toss in pecans. Measure out a cup of the mixture and set aside in a small bowl.
Press the remaining mixture into the prepared pan; you'll need to press hard to ensure that all of the mixture will stick together well. Bake for 10 minutes.
While the crust is baking, prepare filling by combining cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, egg and spices. Pour over crust then evenly sprinkle remaining topping over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes or until top is set and toothpick inserted into middle comes out fairly clean. Makes 16 bars.
Disclosure: This post is part of a partnership I have with Go Veggie! Foods. All opinions are my own, thanks for continuing to support AK!