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Sweet Pumpkin Treats

Autumn is here, which gets me thinking pumpkin, one of my favorite foods. I’ll be cooking with it a lot now through spring. When I was younger and more ambitious, I would cook a pumpkin from scratch for the puree, but frankly, I’m just as happy if not more so with a can of organic puree. There are only so many hours in the day.

Calling these treats "bars" makes them sound more substantial and cookie-like than they are. In fact, the result is very light and cakey. They might be more bar-like with more oatmeal, which is not in the original recipe.

I'm not sure where the recipe came from; I hand-copied it from someone else's handwritten copy maybe 20-25 years ago. Of course, I never make it exactly as written. Here's the way I made them yesterday:

Pumpkin Bars
  • 1 c white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat; I happened to have white whole wheat)
  • 1 c brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
Sift together and set aside.
  • 1 c vegetable oil (I use canola—don't use olive oil)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 c oatmeal
In a large bowl, whisk the oil and eggs together until fluffy. Whisk in the sugars, then the pumpkin.

Add the flour mixture by thirds, stirring only until completely moistened. Add the in the walnuts and oatmeal. The batter will be rather wet.

Pour into an ungreased 15" x 10" x 1" sheet pan (jelly roll pan, cookie sheet with sides--whatever you call it) and pop into a 350º for 25-30 minutes. They should be lightly brown and pulling away from the sides of the pan.

My old recipe suggests frosting them—which I never do—or topping with cinnamon sugar. I used a combination of powdered sugar and cinnamon. Either way, cut into squares and serve.