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Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

02 Oct

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

by AVERIE @ LOVE VEGGIES & YOGA on OCTOBER 2, 2011

I’ve said in the past that pumpkin is one of those take-it-or-leave it items for me.

But I am eating my words now because of these bars.

I’ve been eating these bars like there’s no tomorrow.

Or like there’s no pumpkin shortage.  Did you know about that?

But there’s no shortage of full-on pumpkin flavor in these.

Between the homemade pumpkin spice lattes and these bars, I’ve been converted to the other side the pumpkin side.

These were so easy to make.

No need to slave away on these bars.   Or slave away in the kitchen, ever.

For me, cooking and baking should be fun and not a chore, and I highly doubt you’ll find these bars to be a chore.

I love it when I don’t dirty every dish in the house and don’t have a total mess going on.  That’s actually been known to happen from time to time.  Shocker, I know.

The good thing about the peanut butter pumpkin bars is that your kitchen won’t look like a cyclone hit it when you’re done.

One bowl + One spoon + Oven = Bars in about a half hour 

They’re vegan and gluten free (see this post about Oats near the bottom for a discussion on oats and gluten)

And they make me just wanna chomp

The pumpkin flavor really shines through.  Between the pumpkin puree and the pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin lovers can rejoice.

The peanut butter is nicely balanced with the pumpkin and the flavors complement each other, but these are definitely pumpkin-peanut butter bars, not peanut butter-pumpkin bars.

Thanks to my relationship with FoodBuzz as a Featured Publisher, I received this Planters Peanut Butter and put it to use in these bars.

The peanut butter eaten by the spoonful on it’s own is also great.

Doesn’t everyone eat PB by the spoonful at midnight standing in your kitchen in front of the refrigerator when you’re too lazy to make anything but you’re feeling snacky?

Well now I’ve got these to snack on.

You not only get both peanut butter and pumpkin in these bars (and I love a good two-for-one deal), but the brown sugar caramelizes when baking and makes these bars slightly chewy and caramely.

If you underbake them by a touch like I prefer to do with my baked goods, it’s the perfect marriage of barely crispy on the outside with a caramelized, moist inside.

If I was in charge of writing The Rules You Must Bake By, I think that all cookies, brownies, and bars all should have a slightly crispy edge with soft centers.

And never be dry.  Dry = not worth my chew

And the pumpkin peanut butter oat bars deliver if held up to my self-created Rules You Must Bake By.

    Print This!    

 

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

1/2 c peanut butter

1 c pumpkin puree (i.e. Libby’s in a can and if you don’t have pumpkin puree in your market, use sweet potato puree either canned or sweet potatoes that you boil/puree yourself)

2 c oats (whole rolled, not quick cook)

1 c brown sugar, packed

1/2 c white sugar

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (reduce/increase to taste)

1 tsp cinnamon (reduce/increase to taste)

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Optional: Add raisins, nuts, chocolate/white/peanut butter chips to the mixture.  I’d suggest starting with 1/3 to 1/2 c and going from there based on taste preference.

Optional frosting ideas (they really don’t need frosting, but I love frosting and wish I would have added some but was too in a hurry to just eat them):

Cream Cheese Frosting; add a pinch of pumpkin pie spice + cinnamon if you’d like

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

Caramel Sauce, either jarred or homemade Dark Rum Caramel Sauce

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir by hand.  Spread batter (it will be pretty moist) into a foil-lined and spayed 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan.  Bake at 350F for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  The bars may still look underdone, but that’s ok because they will continue to set up as they cool.  Allow to cool very well before slicing.  Store extras on the countertop, refrigerator, or in the freezer for long term storage.

Notes: All measurements are approximate and if you love peanut butter or pumpkin puree, add a bit more of either.

Reduce the sugar amounts if you wish or even attempt a sugar-free version by making with stevia, stevia “baking blends” such as NuNaturals Baking Blend (enter code AVE630 to save $5 at checkout) or try other powdered forms of nonsugar sweeteners.

Adjust baking time as necessary based on your own recipe substitutions.

If you don’t enjoy pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or vanilla extract as much as I do, scale them back.  However, both pumpkin puree and peanut butter are very strong flavors and I find can stand up to lots of spices and vanilla extract and are complemented well by them.

 

 

Gather your ingredients

Combine all Ingredients & Mix

Press into the foil-lined and sprayed pan

Bake, Cool, Slice & Serve

Frost them if you desire.  Or have patience and can refrain from immediately chomping down the minute they are cool enough to devour.

I had no such patience and just dug in.

These bars made a pumpkin liar outta me

But I promise not to hoard Libby’s

Need other Pumpkin Recipes?

Check my Pumpkin Recipes Compilation Post

Or try No Bake Pumpkin Pie Donut Holes (Vegan, GF)

No Bake Pumpkin Pie (Vegan, GF)

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan, GF)

My last bar recipe, Caramel Apple Bars, don’t have pumpkin in them but are an easy, seasonal recipe for the apple lovers in case you’re more into apples than pumpkins.  It’s okay, I used to be like you and not “that into” pumpkin.

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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in Inspirational posts

 

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