This post was sponsored by Annie’s Homegrown.
Heeeeyy. Wanna see another pumpkin recipe?
Are you over it? It being the pumpkin thing. I promise I’ll reduce my pumpkin-ing next week.
It’s not like you have to have pumpkin to make fall, fall. BUT these pumpkin layered bars with Annie’s chocolate chunk cookie dough are kinda a thing to get your autumn on with.
It’s pretty much still hot and miserable in Texas, but I can feel the great outdoors willing itself to bring more pleasant fall-like weather. We’ll encourage nice weather by eating more pumpkin. I think that’s how that works.
For me, this fall feels different and I’m sure it’s gonna be a special fall. It’s the first fall i’m not in school. YESSSSSS.
I’ve managed to convince Andrew that we should take a vacation in October…AND that we should go camping. I think being a grown up means you get to take a vacation in October because you are finally in charge of your life and don’t have to go to school anymore and it’s the best feeling in the world. If you are still in school, hold tight. It’ll soon be over and you’ll move on to your dream job. DO IT.
I have fridays off from work. Which leads to plenty of time for sitting on the couch drinking a mug of something cozy while watching the Today Show until 9 before hitting up a yoga class and then planning out blog content for the week/getting some recipes/food photography done.
I really like Fridays.
Except for when I click over from the Today Show to the Kardashians and then get lost in mindlessness and end up missing 10am yoga. It happens.
So date caramel.
Have you done it?
Yes, it is definitely different from regular caramel, but I’m very pro-date caramel. It’s sweet and this one is peanut buttery, because I added peanut butter. So if you like sweet and peanut buttery things, you may just maybe might like this date caramel.
I’d ask you if you like chocolate chunk cookies, but pu-lease. Errybody likes chocolate chunk cookies. True.
Oh! And there are pretzels!! No cookie bar is complete without pretzels (personal opinion), mainly because pretzels just make cookie bars look prettier.
Unless you hate pretzels, in which case you may not love these.
But. Make these because they’d pair perfectly with hot chocolate and it’s almost time for hot chocolate season. It’s coming. Dear outside, please get cold (and then I can start complaining about it being too cold.)
Pumpkin Date Caramel Cookie Bars
Yield: one 8x8 dish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
10 Annie's chocolate chunk cookie dough
25 small pretzels
3/4 cup dates, pitted and packed into a measuring cup
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons water
1 1/4 cup oat flour, spooned into measuring cup
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
2 tablespoons greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with coconut oil or butter. Set aside.
First, make your date caramel layer. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine dates with water and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. Then carefully, since the bowl will be hot, use a fork to mash the dates into a puree. 1 minute of mashing should do the trick. Then stir in the peanut butter. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine all ingredients for pumpkin layer. Scoop the pumpkin layer into the baking dish and press pumpkin layer to the edges of the dish. The dough will be sticky, so it may be easiest to wet your hands before pressing the dough to the edges. Then layer on half of your pretzels. Top pretzels with a layers of date caramel. Then add 5 more pretzels. Top with Annie's chocolate chunk cookie dough and bake for 20-22 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately press remaining pretzels into the baked cookies. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.