cookies, cooking, desserts, fall, food, Halloween, homemade meals, ice cream, pumpkin, Tasty Tuesday, Thanksgiving

Sweet Treats with a Pumpkin Twist

Well, my sweet readers, the time has come to an end. The time for pumpkin recipes that is. While I still plan to enjoy pumpkin throughout the year, the rest of the world seems to give pumpkin the heave-ho after Halloween. And then those who keep it around typically discard it after Thanksgiving as they put up their holiday decorations. And I do understand – this time of year brings out so many exciting once-a-year flavors like peppermint, candy cane, gingerbread, and eggnog.

But see, I’m a true pumpkin fan. I’ll have pumpkin all year round if you let me! I love this veggie so much, I host a party with a pumpkin-theme! That’s right – every fall, my friends and I gather together one weekend and bake all sorts of pumpkin-flavored goodies. This year was a bit smaller of a crowd, but we still got to try out some new recipes. This was my second year trying out Oatmeal Cream Pies and I was pretty tickled with this year’s results! You would think after all these pumpkin goodies, I would grow tired of the flavor…but I don’t.

So, seeing as it’s the end of November (seriously where has the time gone), I thought I would leave you with just a few of my favorites that we sampled this fall.

Paleo Pumpkin Bars



2 cups almond flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup almond butter
2 T coconut oil
¼ cup coconut sugar
2 T maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 T almond milk
1 cup pumpkin puree

Maple Frosting

½ cup grass-fed butter, softened
⅓ cup maple syrup
¼ tsp cinnamon
1¼ T coconut flour
2½ T coconut milk
1 T coconut sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8×8″ baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Mix well to combine and set aside.
  3. In a medium-size microwave-safe bowl, heat the coconut oil and almond butter on high for 30 seconds. Stir, then place back in the microwave to heat another 30 seconds.
  4. Once combined, remove from microwave and add coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and almond milk. Stir until well-combined.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree and stir well.
  6. Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
  7. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until center is set. Bars will be slightly moist.
  8. Allow bars to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then place the entire pan in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute).
  10. Add in remaining frosting ingredients and beat until thoroughly combined.
  11. Once the bars are completely cool, cover them with the frosting. Chill for another 15 minutes before serving!


Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars (by Chelsea’s Messy Apron)



1 1/2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup white sugar
1 T brown sugar
6 T butter, melted


16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (on counter for at least 1 hour)
1/2 cup + 2 T white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 T canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice


1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white flour
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened (not melted)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Caramel ice cream topping (salted or plain)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper (leave an overhang to be able to pull out these bars easily) and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine all crust ingredients and mix until a thick dough forms. Press into the bottom of the parchment lined baking pan.
  3. In another bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until completely smooth and creamy.
  4. Add in eggs one at a time, beating until completely combined.
  5. Carefully measure out 1 and 1/2 cups of the cheesecake mixture and pour on top of the prepared crust.
  6. To the remaining cheesecake mixture, add pumpkin, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until completely combined and carefully pour on top of cheesecake layer.
  7. To make the streusel, stir together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add in the butter and vanilla; mix until well combined.
  8. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the pumpkin cheesecake layer.
  9. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the cheesecake has set. Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour. Then place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  10. Before serving, drizzle caramel sauce over the bars or serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cream Pies


Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 2/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour

Cream Filling

4 oz .cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 T unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 – 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt (if too sweet)

  1. Beat the softened butter and sugars together on medium-high speed until smooth. Add in egg and vanilla; mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add these to the wet ingredients, then mix together until just combined. Do not over-mix!
  3. Put the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Roll 2 teaspoons of dough into a ball and place onto prepared cookie sheet. Repeat for remaining dough.
  6. Bake for 9 minute, then allow to cool on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
  7. Meanwhile, beat together cream cheese, butter, pumpkin, and spices on medium speed until creamy.
  8. Add 2 cups of sifted confectioners sugar and mix until combined. You can add more, depending on how sweet you like your filling. If it’s too sweet, add in a pinch of salt.
  9. If filling is much too thin, add in flour to thicken.  Add salt to cut the sweetness, if you prefer.
    Once the cookies are completely cooled, you can begin to assemble! Flip half of your cookies upside down so the flat surface if facing upwards. Spread a tablespoon (or more, depending on cookie size) of filling on the these cooled cookies. Place another cookie on top to form the cream pies.
  10. Chill until ready to serve.


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