Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Date Nut Squares

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...One of my favorite ingredients for fall baking is pumpkin, and at this time of year, I try to work it into breads and cakes and cookies whenever I can. I had a cup of canned pumpkin leftover from another recipe and I wanted to use it rather than throw it away.  A quick search for recipes that would use that cup led me to Whole Foods Market site  where I found  these Pumpkin Date Nut Squares. These cake-like treats are perfect for school lunches or an informal afternoon tea.  They combine the naturally sweet flavor of dates with the warm spices usually associated with pumpkin desserts and they make a great and reasonably healthy fall snack. If you enjoy date nut bars I suspect you'll love these as well. The cookies are made with whole wheat pastry flour and they are jam-packed with dates and nuts as well as pumpkin. Like any fruit cake or bar, these improve with age and I try to make them the day before I want to serve them. The recipe is straightforward and I think you will find it easy to follow. Here's how the squares are made.

Pumpkin Date Nut Squares...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Whole Food's Market

2-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
1 pound pitted dates (about 3 cups), roughly chopped
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.
2) Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
3) In a second bowl, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin, vanilla and water and beat again until combined.
4) In a small bowl toss dates with 1/4 cup of flour mixture until coated well. Gradually add remaining flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, beating slowly. Stir in dates and pecans then transfer batter to a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan and spread out evenly.
5) Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool on a rack, then cut into squares and serve. Yield: 24 Squares.

One Year Ago Today: Regency Ginger Crisps

Two Years Ago Today: Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Three Years Ago Today: Old-Fashioned Lemon Pudding


Katarina said...

I like pumpkin as well, and love to bake with it! This sounds really delicious!

kitchen flavours said...

This looks really good! I love pumpkin and just made a batch of pumpkin puree! Thanks for sharing! Have a lovely week!

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

Who can walk away from the delicious pumpkin dish :D

Choc Chip Uru

Diane said...

This sounds delish, will certainly try it out, but with fresh pumpkin. Have never seen pumpkin in a tin here. Enjoy your week Diane

Salsa Verde said...

Hi Mary!
I love pumpkin and now, that halloween is almost here, what a fantastic suggestion you left us!

Barbara said...

The only other recipe I've seen combining pumpkin and dates is a sweet bread that Maida Heatter makes. I love this in bar form, Mary!

Rambling Tart said...

I really love pumpkin too, and all those lovely dates and nuts added to this make it sound wonderfully hearty and nourishing. Perfect fall fare. :-)

Unknown said...

I need to start making things with pumpkin.. and this looks like a great place to start!!

Ana Regalado said...

Mary , I need to visit Whole Foods Market site ! :D I made some pumpkin puree few days ago and I think I'll use some of it in making some baked goodies just like this delicious treat !

QembarDelites said...

I love to bake with pumpkins too, they give the baked products a very lovely golden color that I like very much! Would love to give this recipe a try when I have my kitchen back in working order!

David said...

Mary, I must admit that this combination of ingredients just wouldn't have occured to me. Pumpkin, whole wheat flour and dates... Sounds intriguing! Thanks for the recipe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

From the Kitchen said...

My thoughts turn to pumpkin this time of year as well. This recipe has all the things we like. Improving with "age" is a big plus.


Tricia @ saving room for dessert said...

Love the date addition. Sounds pretty perfect! Another beautiful photo and perfect bite!


I love pumpkin and dates ... so this sounds like a winner.


teresa said...

oh i love this! the dates sound wonderful!

Kim said...

I love these bars. These are perfect for this time of year!

Blond Duck said...

These look so wonderful--rich and autumnish! said...

Cupa tea please....perfect companion....

Cindy said...

I love dates--they would be great with pumpkin. I think a few chocolate chips would also be a great addition!

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