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Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cream Squares

Posted Oct 11 2012 6:23pm

Pumpkin pumpkin and more pumpkin! Does it get any better this time of year?! I love dreaming up new ways to use this orange ball - mostly desserts ;) For Thanksgiving on Monday I made pumpkin pie and no bake pumpkin pie cream squares. Both were a success and both will be made again! Chewy date nut crust, with a smooth creamy filling, topped with coconut cashew whipped cream and a sprinkle of pecans. Let me tell you, I could eat these every day.


No Bake Pumpkin Pie Cream Squares
Vegan and Gluten Free


An elegant, healthy, and delicious dessert for the holidays. Remember the caramel I used for the caramel apple cheesecake ? I used it drizzle a special touch over these bars. Totally optional of course but if you really want to wow your guests, I'd go for it. 



Crust

I felt that these squares needed pecans in the crust. Pecans and pumpkin just seem to go hand in hand, don't they? Be careful not to over process the dough or it will be come oily.

2/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup pitted, packed dates
1/4 cup dried shredded coconut
Pinch of salt
1-2 teaspoons water or vanilla

Grind the almonds to flour in a food processor.
Add the pecans, coconut, and salt, Pulse a few times to chop the pecans.
Add the dates and 1 teaspoon water. Process into a dough. Do NOT over process or the oils will release from the pecans.
Make sure the dough will hold together when pressed in your hand. If still slightly crumbly add another 1/2-1 teaspoon water and pulse briefly.
Press into the bottom of an 8x8" pan. Set aside.

Filling

This gorgeous filling is nut free and could be enjoyed as a pudding with less coconut oil. It's not overly firm. It's the kind of filling that needs to be eaten on a plate. Your fork or spoon will easily glide through all layers of the bar, and while we have eaten them with our hands around here, it will get a little messy. Want a more cheesecakey filling? Simply add more coconut oil and a touch more sweetener to compensate.

1/2 cup pitted packed dates
1/2 cup vanilla coconut* or almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

*I used vanilla So Delicious, NOT full fat coconut milk.

Puree the dates, milk, vanilla and maple syrup in a food processor until fairly smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times and keep pureeing.
Add the pumpkin and spices. Puree to get it as smooth as possible.
Add the coconut oil and blend again.
Spread evenly over the crust using a mini offset spatula.
Chill in the fridge for 12 hours (or overnight).

Optional: If your food processor leaves some lumps (which mine did and I wanted it super smooth), simply add the blended date mixture to a blender along with the pumpkin and spices. Blend until smooth and then add the oil and blend to incorporate.


Whipped Cream

If you're a regular reader then you know how much I love whipped cream. I've made many variations depending on what I have on hand. I often like the addition of irish moss but in this case I didn't have any moss already soaked so I threw together this easy recipe. It's so delicious and perfect on pumpkin pie too!

1 cup full fat coconut milk
3/4 cup cashews
3 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil until smooth and a high speed blender (important for the cashews to be completely broken down for proper thickening).
Add the oil and blend to incorporate.
Pour into a large shallow pan and chill for at least 8 hours.
Spread over the chilled pumpkin filling.


What's your favorite way to use pumpkin?!
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