Pumpkin Cakey Bars

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I hate dilemmas.

Butter or oil? Cream or yogurt? Salad or chocolate cake?

My heart yearns to explore innovative savoury dishes. Say pork three ways: cheek braised in wine and served with balsamic roasted cherries and chestnuts, belly roasted and served with a ‘mille feuille’ of root veges, thigh poached in pork stock then seared with garlic and chili infused olive oil and topped with fried basil and smoked paprika? Or a deconstruction of roasted pork belly: bone marrow stock blended and gelatinised into thin layers, alternating with slow-cooker braised pork loin with peppercorns and bay leaves, topped with a square of roasted skin? *slaps slaps* losing myself here! But my brain breaks down the various components and ingredients required, and informs me that naaaaah either a lot of oil, cream, or various other less healthy ingredients are required.

And so I end up whipping up more baked goods. Cause I can safely and easily substitute various unhealthy components after so many many trials. I guess until I can find the perfect substitutes for such ingredients in savoury dishes, sweets will dominate this blog!

Soooooo, awhile ago pumpkin desserts were dominating every major food site. Like literally every site. And pumpkin bars were one of the most common of the autumn sweets made, with variations popping up everywhere. Absolutely annoying thing was that most of these desserts used super lot of cream, sugars, and various other unhealthy processed stuff. Sad me had to avoid all these wonderful drool-inducing desserts, until I stumbled upon Katie’s recipe. Seeing her list of wholesome and nutritious ingredients, I absolutely absolutely had to make these babies!

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If you could describe “Fall” with a bar, this would be it. They were fantastic!!! Everything a fall pumpkin dessert should be! Lightly spiced, every bight was a refreshing warm fall breeze. It’s almost like fall in a bar. Oddly though adapted from the “Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars” made by Katie, these were not at all bar-y. They were extremely cakey and fluffy, and they tasted delish that way too! I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe cause it makes a really mean pumpkin spiced cake. Mind you it won over the hearts of the pickiest of eaters (: though I’ll probably have to search longer for a healthier pumpkin bar recipe!

Pumpkin Cakey Bars (makes about 25 bars)
Recipe adapted from Katie’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon spelt flour (or white flour, oat flour, etc.)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground flax
3 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (or cooked, pureed pumpkin)
2 tablespoons nonfat milk
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Combine dry ingredients, then fold the in wet ingredients. Spread into an oiled 7×5 pan (or double the recipe for an 8×8) and cook for 14-15 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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