Guest Post: Pumpkin Molasses Squares [from The Baconista]

Meet Stevie - the mastermind behind The Baconista. As explained in my guest post on her site, Stevie and I go way back to our high school days...long story short, she's awesome. It's pretty clutch being able to host all these awesome paleo chefs on my site, and after excitedly stumbling upon Stevie's amazeballs paleo blog, it was a no brainer to DEMAND she guest post for me. We ended up doing a recipe swap and are now each featured on one another's blog...uhhh hello #famous! Please read on for a stellar recipe that features [mostly] everyone's favorite seasonal flavor...PUMPKIN. Thanks, Stevie!! 

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So, I am THE WORST. I am formally “blog-agizing” to Finley for being so freakishly late on this guest post. She’s had Play Paleo for quite sometime now and I’m a blogging newbie, so I was honored that she asked me to contribute a recipe. Plus, her recipes are AWESOME. She recently did a guest post on The Baconista and let me tell you, this girl can cook. Not even exaggerating, I ate pretty much all of it in one sitting... that’s almost 1 lbs. of brussels sprouts. Scary. With my obvious obsession for brussels sprouts and bacon (hence, The Baconista) aside, TRY THIS RECIPE. 

If you read Finley’s guest post on The Baconista, you got a little inside preview of our prior history...or history classes (I really think I am so funny sometimes...)! Yes, Finley and I were proud students of Mrs. MacBlane’s US History class. Just for the record, Finley was a badass in HS. Not only was she academically brilliant, she was a fierce athlete (there’s no doubt she still is!). Essentially, Finley was the bomb-dig and I was the quirky theatre nerd who sat next to her. No biggie. 

Anywho, when Finley honored me with guest post on Play Paleo, I obviously accepted and immediately decided I wanted to make a fall inspired dessert. I wanted it to be completely new, from scratch. Much easier said, than done. After a few horribly failed attempts, I kinda got it right. Flavors: SPOT ON. Bake Time: ehh... not so much. This is a recipe you have to WATCH while it’s baking. Not kidding, I burned the “cookie” layer 3 times. My oven and I had some heated conversations that day... no pun intended. Alas, I got it right and it is DELISH. 

Thanks Finley for the spotlight on your amazing blog. Let’s do it again sometime! p.s. I totally miss US History...

Pumpkin Molasses Squares

Cookie Layer Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup almond butter (creamy)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 cup erythritol (or use 3⁄4 cup of coconut sugar)
  • 1⁄4 cup coconut flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • A pinch of freshly ground pepper

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 cup of pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 20 pitted dates (soak in water for one hour to make them easier to purée)
  • 1⁄2 cup erythritol
  • 2 Tbs butter, grass-fed
  • 1/2 cup of full-fat canned coconut milk (maybe a little more depending on the size of your dates)
  • 2 egg, whisked
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a large 9 X 13 roasting pan with coconut oil
  2. Using an electric hand held mixer (or standing mixer) beat together the almond butter, molasses, eggs and freshly grated ginger until smooth
  3. Into a medium bowl, sift together coconut sugar, coconut flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper
  4. Slowly add the sugar and spice mixture to the almond butter mixture while mixing on low until just combined
  5. Drop the dough into the greased baking pan, spread it out evenly among the pan
  6. Bake large cookie for around 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Be sure to keep an eye on the cookie around 10 minutes, this is when the edges will start to brown. The center of the cookie will look super puffy- this is normal. Before you decide to take it out of the oven, be sure that the edges are a nice dark brownish, almost “burnt” looking, but not really. Once you take it out, let the cookie cake cool completely. Once it is cooled, make sure it’s fully cooked by using the toothpick test in the center. If it is not “done” in the center, put it back in the oven at 5-minute increments. WATCH IT!
  7. While the cookie is cooking, start your pumpkin filling. Pulse the dates and coconut milk together in a food processor or Bullet blender to purée
  8. In a medium saucepan, whisk all filling ingredients together including dates and coconut milk mixture
  9. Cook over medium heat until filling starts to bubble – then cook for 1 more minute
  10. Remove from heat, and pour filling onto the molasses cookie layer
  11. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving (or to set up faster, place in freezer)
  12. I suggest taking the bars out of the fridge 4 hours before you serve it. The molasses cookie layer tastes much better when it isn’t cold.