The holidays are fast approaching. As far as I'm concerned this is the time of year that I spend even more time in the kitchen. These cinnamon pumpkin oatmeal bars bring together seasonal favorites: cinnamon and pumpkin. Cinnamon is a wonderfully fragrant spice that just heralds the holidays. Baking is one of those time honored holiday traditions; and this recipe fits the bill beautifully and is super easy to put together. Time is always an issue, no matter what time of year and this recipe is quick to throw together and bake.
Perfect for drop by guests, coffee or tea time, or a quick dessert served (heated if desired) with a scoop of ice cream (a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce) and/or a dollop of whipped cream. It also has many adaptations: cranberry can be substituted for the pumpkin (making it even easier by using can whole berry sauce), as well as using different preserves, jams, jellies and nut butters. Fresh fruit can also be used; depending upon the fruit, it can be used as is (think mashed and seasoned bananas) or apples (pears) which will need a bit of cooking to get them to the right consistency. Jar or can pie fillings will also work.
Here I used can pumpkin puree (the unseasoned variety) which I then added my own combo of spices and sugars, but you can also use the seasoned, ready to use type to speed up the process even more. Make adjustments as you see fit, add sweet notes using honey, molasses, assorted sugars as well as "amping" up the flavor by adding additional spices.
There is no wrong here; and considering how easy these bars are to throw together, you can experiment and still have time for the rest of your insanity (holiday or not!).
Oatmeal Pumpkin Bar
- 2 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
- 1 cup Flour
- 1 cup Oats, not the quick cook kind
- 3/4 cup brown Sugar
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp baking Powder
- 8 tbsp. Butter, melted
- 1 cup Pumpkin puree, seasoned
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking pan, set aside. Combine all the dry ingredients. Add the butter and mix to form crumbles. Place half into pan and press into the pan, forming the base. Spread the pumpkin evenly over the base. Top with the remaining oat-mix and press gently. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until it browns. Serves: 4-8, depending on the size of the bars.
If seasoning the pumpkin yourself add cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and/or allspice (1/4 tsp each, to start). You can also use pumpkin pie spice if you like. You will also have to add a bit of sugar. I use brown, but use your choice. I suggest that you add the sugar in small increments as well (start with 1/4 cup, for instance) because the pumpkin really absorbs flavor and sweetness quickly...you can always add, much harder to take away and make adjustments!
Make it your own by seasoning to your tastes.