October 31st is creeping up shortly, which means that this is prime time for anyone in search of costumes, packaged bite-size candy, and black-and-orange everything.
While this recipe of Sesame Pumpkin Bars certainly does not count as a costume, and it’s a bit of a stretch to group it under the candy category, it does contribute to the general Halloween theme of black-and-orange. These bars are also raw, which means that if you can use a food processor, then your chance of making these successfully sits at around 100%.
The best part? Gorging on a whole tray of these puppies won’t leave you feeling guilty in the same way that a bag of Halloween candy does.
You will need:
- 1 loaf pan (4.5″ x 10″ – 2 smaller ones can be used to substitute)
- 1 cup toasted black sesame seeds
- 120 g dried dates
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 40 mL coconut oil, warmed
- 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil, warmed
- 1 cup coconut cream*
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 6 Tbsp toasted black sesame seeds
*Refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight and scrape off the thickened top layer of cream to use for this recipe.
Put on the Monster Mash and let’s get to it 👩🏽🍳
To make these bars, we’re creating a giant loaf first then cutting them down to size. So start by lining a loaf pan with plastic wrap – make sure that your wrap falls over the edges so that you can lift out the loaf easily at the end. Now take the coconut and toast it over medium heat until browned and set this aside.
In a food processor, grind the sesame seeds into a meal. Then add in the toasted coconut and grind further until the mixture resembles a fine meal.
Add in the remaining crust ingredients and process the mixture until it comes together as a dough. You’ll know it’s ready when the dough sticks together after being pressed. If it’s a bit too dry, add in a little more coconut oil.
Remove the dough from the processor and set aside 1/2 a cup for the filling itself. Now using the remaining dough, press it into the bottom of the pan with plastic wrap – make sure that it’s even and pressed down firmly.
Finally, make sure to rinse out your food processor before making the filling.
Now let’s kick it up a notch with some thrilling filling
Process the cashews with the coconut oil, coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until the mixture becomes very smooth.
Now place 2/3 of the cashew mixture you just made into a large bowl, and stir in the pumpkin purée and 1/3 cup of coconut sugar until the sugar dissolves. Set this aside.
To the remaining 1/3 of the cashew mixture in the processor, add the 1/2 cup of sesame mixture reserved from the crust as well as an additional 6 Tbsp of sesame seeds. Process everything until the mixture becomes smooth – some of the sesame seeds may not be fully processed, which is fine as it adds to the texture and visual appeal. 😉
Remove this cashew-sesame mixture from the processor and spread it evenly on top of the crust.
The final layer of this bar is that cashew-pumpkin mixture from an earlier step. Now gently pour it on top of the sesame layer and spread it as evenly as you can.
Sprinkle a handful of sesame seeds on top, and put the pan in the fridge and chill it for at least 8 hours. Better yet – leave it to chill overnight, until it’s fully set.
Patiently wait for your bars to set – we found this step quite hard, and it may even prove to be a nightmare for some…
But it’s all worth it! Once your loaf has set fully, remove it from the pan by lifting the saran wrap. Then cut it into small bites for immediate consumption! 🎃