Whenever I tell people that I have a food blog, they assume that I love spending the majority of my time in the kitchen. Although there are times when nothing sounds better than baking away an afternoon, there are days that are far from idyllic. Days where I long for a private chef who could whip up nourishing meals and do the dishes while all of us run in opposite directions to various activities and appointments. Sometimes at the end of one of those long, busy, days I look at a calendar, only to realize that I’m supposed to bake something for a school party, 4h event, or soccer snack the next day. I know you’ve all been in the same boat, but just in case you haven’t, here is how it goes:
It’s 10 PM, your fridge is bare and you could fall asleep on your feet. For some reason when I’m in one of these situations I’m always out of eggs. Just last week the stage was set for this exact scenario. Luckily I did have a can of pumpkin (stocking up for fall baking), gluten-free oats, brown sugar and spices on hand. I knew that I wanted to create a simple treat that tasted great and was appropriate for easy cutting and serving. These Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Bars were just the thing. They are perfect for the fall season and they travel well to just about any kind of event. If you give these a try, I promise that you’ll be in and out of your kitchen before you know it.
- 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free quick cooking oats*
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (Hain brand or homemade for corn-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum (I use Authentic Foods for a corn-free variety of xanthan gum)**
- 2/3 cup light tasting oil of choice (melted butter or butter substitute will work too)
- *If you can't find gluten-free "quick oats", feel free to use regular gluten-free oats that you pulse in the food processor for 15-20 seconds (with the metal blade). This is how I make my own "quick-cooking oats" if I don't have them on hand.
- **Feel free to omit the xanthan/guar gum in this recipe. I use it for added stability because I've been wrapping squares of this in waxed paper and sending it for a treat in my kids' school lunchboxes.
- 2 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree (1- 14 ounce can)
- 2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (use homemade or the scrapings of a vanilla bean if you eat corn-free)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 by 13 baking pan.
- Crust/Filling Instructions:
- 1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, place all the dry ingredients (flour through xanthan gum) for the crust and mix on low to combine.
- 2. Add the oil and mix well for a minute or two, or until the crust begins to come together into a clumpy, crumbly mixture.
- 3. Press half of the crust mixture into the prepared 13 by 9 pan, making a smooth, tight layer.
- 4. Gently spread with the pumpkin filling, trying to keep the crust intact as you do. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining crumble mixture. Lightly press the crumble into the pumpkin filling a bit.
- 5. Bake on center rack of preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the topping is beginning to get just a bit golden.
- Instructions for the Pumpkin Filling:
- 1. In a bowl, combine all the filling ingredients and mix until smooth and well-combined.
- 2. Use in the above Crust/Topping Recipe.