Tasty Pumpkin Treats
Spiced roasted pumpkin sandwiched between layers of oatmeal coconut pecan bar cookie.
When you're in the midst of a big project that requires some hands on but not constant attention, it's easy for you mind to wander. It's easy for your mind to wander to sweets. With a recent cold snap I decided to get busy roasting all the pumpkin and pumpkin-like squash that had been hanging out on my porch.
Why aren't these squash in the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve? I'm glad you asked. It makes me think you've been paying attention each time I mention the SWSR, and I'm glad of it. I left these squash outside because they came from my garden and the varmints had nibbled them before I harvested. I wasn't sure if they would decay quickly because of the blemishes, so I kept them on the porch. They did fine.Since I had so many large-ish squash I could only fit one pan in the oven at a time, and this was an all-day affair. Chop the squash in half, scoop out the guts to the compost bucket, place face down on a rimmed baking sheet, add a cup of water, bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour, poke to see if it's tender, take it out if it is/leave in for another 20 minutes if it's not, cool, scoop out the flesh, add the skin to the compost bucket, and repeat. Let the dog out every 30 minutes so he won't pee in the house, and empty the compost bucket while you're out there. Or just refer to this Processing a Pile of Pumpkins post from my first month blogging.
While craving something sweet and scooping endless cups of pumpkin flesh (I ended up with about 12-13 cups) I got a wild hair to replace the jam in my friend Lasar's Tasty Raspberry Treats with a sweetened pumpkin filling. While the last squash was baking I assembled the dough, and as soon as the pumpkin was tender I changed the oven temperature and popped the treats in to bake. We sampled the first batch but I was already thinking of ways to change them. My second batch, for work, incorporated those changes and I liked them even more.
This recipe uses ¾ cup pumpkin puree and makes a 9 inch square baking pan. I like that size because it makes enough, but not too much, dessert for our family so we're not eating the same thing for days. If you're not blessed with a bunch of pumpkins from your garden or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, canned plain pumpkin will jump right in as a good substitute. If you're serving folks who aren't crazy about pumpkin pie--try this on them for size. It's more like a spiced bar cookie, with subtle pumpkin flavor, than an in-your-face pie.
I debated sharing this so close to Thanksgiving, so close to pumpkin overload, but decided I'd rather share a sweet than more turnip recipes.
Oh, and the other Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza I'd promised? It seems I'd forgotten to jot down the specifics of how I made the stuffing-flavored pizza dough. So I'll be making that again next week, for our Thanksgiving Leftover Remake Pizza, and I'll blog about it next year.
Have a cookie instead.
For more recipes using pumpkin, please see my Pumpkin Recipes Collection.
Tasty Pumpkin Treats (makes a 9 inch square pan)
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
½ cup pecans (whole or broken, your choice)
⅔ cup flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt, divided (I use kosher)
1 stick butter (8 Tablespoons or 4 ounces), cut into cubes
1 cup rolled oats
¾ cup pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 9 inch square pan, spread coconut in an even layer. Place in oven for 5 minutes until fragrant, then set aside to cool. [You can toast the coconut in any old pan you like, but if you want to skip an extra wash you may as well use the baking pan.] In a food processor chop pecans, then add in flour, sugars, and ½ teaspoon salt. Pulse to combine. Add butter to food processor, and process until fully combined. Add in oats and ½ cup toasted coconut (reserve the other half for topping). Pat ½ of the dough into the pan, reserving the other half for topping. Bake the bottom crust for 10 minutes.
To make the filling, combine pumpkin, honey, spices and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Spread onto prebaked crust. Top with reserved dough and reserved coconut, pressing down into pan to seat the toppings in the filling. Bake for 20 minutes until coconut is lightly browned. Let cool completely before serving.