- PUMPKIN BAR BASE:
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup safflower oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2/3 cup dates pitted, diced
- 1 cup Sucanat
- 1 1/4 cups Sucanat
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup pecans toasted, chopped
Begin by preparing the pumpkin bar base: In a blender or food processor, place the flaxseeds and grind to a fine powder. Add the water and blend for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy milk and lemon juice, and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken. Add the canned pumpkin, oil, and vanilla to the soy milk mixture, whisk well to combine, and set aside.
In another medium bowl, sift together both types of flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Add the chopped dates and toss gently to coat them with the flour mixture.
Using an electric hand mixer, beat the Sucanat into the reserved flaxseed mixture, and continue to beat over high speed for 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula, then fold in 1/2 of the dry ingredients, followed by all of the wet ingredients, and then the remaining dry ingredients, and stir until well combined and free of lumps.
Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool completely.
While the pumpkin bar base is cooling, prepare the frosting: In a blender or food processor, place the Sucanat and cornstarch, and blend for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and blend an additional 30 seconds. Transfer this "powdered sugar" to a bowl. Add the maple syrup and vanilla, and whisk well to form a smooth frosting.
Spread the frosting over the cooled pumpkin bars, sprinkle with the chopped pecans, and chill for 5 to 10 minutes to set the frosting. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and cut the pan into 24 equal bars. Store in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers.
This recipe yields one 9- by 13-inch pan or 24 bars.
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