I know, I know... where are the promised alfajores, right? Patience, friends ;) They are coming -- pinky swear. But while there's still time to pumpkin, I thought I'd share these quick and easy chocolate chip & anise pumpkin oaties. I felt like I needed a bit of a break from the dulce de leche, since no lie it ended up on everything. So simple, light oat squares it was....
Ok, who am I kidding... these squares are amazing with the dulce de leche too ;) But they are also a great snackable on their own -- a cross between cake, muffins, and a blondie texture-wise, but bite size. Taste wise -- if I've learned anything from the pumpkin molasses muffins, it's that those two things are inseparable. Add chocolate to the mix and it's a party! But the real kicker here is the anise -- the magical ingredient nobody can ever put their finger on, but one that adds an amazing flavor to these little squares.
I feel like hidden in these humble squares is a flavor profile that accomplishes a lot in a little: gives you another way to enjoy any extra pumpkin this season, a way to use up that pumpkin spice, a way to add molasses and chocolate into your snacks / breakfast, and a way to marry your autumnal baking with your winter baking with that anise...
And as a bonus, these are super easy to make -- just process everything in a food processor and bake away. Cut and munch. They are kind of addictive, but quite light and wholesome -- no gluten, no refined sugar, no oil, eggs, or dairy, ...and there's a veggie snuck in there -- so you can munch away to your heart's content :)
...And they're "tiny-hands" approved -- sent some off to a friend who called to say her 6 year-old said "mom, can you tell Audrey she needs to bake more of these so we can go and buy them from her" :)
You can find pure anise extract at the baking section in grocery stores, especially around this time of year (or online). It's relatively inexpensive and will come in handy in your cookie baking this season ;)
P.S. If you can't do oats, you can try grinding down quinoa flakes or rice flakes, like I did in this recipe as an alternative.Print
A light, gluten-free pumpkin snack bar with a hint of chocolate and a texture that's a cross between cake, muffins, and a blondie. Dairy-free.
- 2 cups gluten-free quick oats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup agave (or maple syrup, brown rice syrup, yacon, etc.)
- 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses(unsulphured)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp pure anise extract (not anise oil)
- ½ cup water
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate of your choice)
- 1-2 tablespoon more quick oats for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a loaf pan with some parchment paper and set aside (I used a 4.4" x 10" loaf pan, but any baking dish of a similar size will do)
- Process oats into a meal in a food processor. Add all remaining ingredients, except chocolate chips and sprinkling oats, and process to combine into a batter. Add chocolate chips and pulse a few times to mix them in. Transfer into the lined pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with oats on top.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 40 mins. Remove and cool on a rack. Once cool, cut into squares and enjoy!