Gluten-Free Gingerbread Pumpkin Magic Bars

Gingerbread Pumpkin Magic Bars

Wow! What a crazy six weeks it has been! It is amazing what can happen in such a short period of time. I won’t get into all of it right now. However, having a baby is crazy! But then adjusting to life with a new baby is even more crazy. Throw a three-year old into that mix and you’ve joined the circus.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Magic Bars

My life has become a series of naps these days and I am thankful when I can get sleep (if I can get sleep). Hell, I’m happy when I can get a shower in. The pile of laundry has now become a mountain of laundry which literally has no end – well, that is the way it seems. But I forget all about these things when I look into my baby girl’s eyes and she smiles at me. It’s precious.

Gingerbread Pumpkin Magic Bars

Today I created for you a whole new recipe that is truly a treat. Although this still has sugar and fat, I’ve used coconut flour and chia seeds to add lots of healthy fiber and omega. Compared to the original magic bars, I think this is a great alternative. Way less guilt while eating this for sure! The gingerbread bottom is like a light cake, sprinkled with chocolate bits, pecans (love that combo) and some unsweetened shredded coconut all topped off with a creamed pumpkin purée – oh my heavens this is a delicious fall treat!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Magic Bars
 
Ingredients
  • GINGERBREAD BOTTOM
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup black strap molasses
  • ¾ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • FILLING
  • 1 cup raw pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • TOPPING
  • 160 ml full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin purée
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 pinch sea salt
Instructions
  1. Line a 9x13 glass baking pan with parchment paper & lightly oil.
  2. Heat oven at 350 degrees.
  3. Beat together coconut oil, coconut sugar, eggs & black-strap molasses.
  4. Add gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, coconut flour, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt and add cold water as needed to mix the ingredients together.
  5. Press mixture into baking pan into an even layer.
  6. Bake gingerbread bottom for about 10-15mins until it has set. remover from oven and let cool slightly.
  7. Sprinkle pecans, chocolate chips and shredded coconut over gingerbread bottom.
  8. In separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, pumpkin purée, pure vanilla, nutmeg, and chia seeds together. Let sit for about 5 mins to thicken.
  9. Pour pumpkin mixture over the pecans, chocolate chip and coconut layer.
  10. Bake in oven for about 25mins. Bars will be gooey like a brownie. Cool, cut into squares and enjoy!

 

Irish Cream Cheesecake for Mother’s Day

Being a mother is a gift. I recognize that for some women, they never want to receive this gift and for other women it is the only gift they wish they could receive, but physically cannot. After going through 6 rounds of heavy chemotherapy I was told that it would be extremely hard for me to become a mother – to have that gift in my life. And although some days I want to rip my hair out or call it a day – leave my child on the doorstep with a sign that says “Take me – I’ve used my penis like a fire hose all over my mother’s couch and thought it was HI-LARIOUS! …she did not” – most days are full of awesome moments that make my heart smile.

Like the first time Q said “Momma”.

Or watching him figure out how to zip his jacket up without any help.

And when conversations with him went from single word sentences to full on subject, verb, noun, adjective and all the things that make up sentence with some extras thrown in there just for fun ;)

Or watching the wheels turn in his head when we took him to his first symphony. He watched quietly and instinctively clapped at all the silent places in the music – regardless of whether it was the end of the song – because he thought it was awesome to hear something as brilliant as Beethoven.

Or like last night, when I was putting little Q down for bed and he wanted to give me kisses on my cheeks, eyes, lips, my elbow (I knew he was procrastinating at that point) and my belly. Yes, he wanted to give my baby belly a good-night kiss. Another gift, given to me this past winter, which is why I was feeling the way I did – my hormones were all over the place because I’d been blessed with another little one. A baby girl who will join our team in the early fall.

This Mother’s Day I wanted to create a dessert that I absolutely love but have a fresh take on it. There is nothing stopping you from using a crust made from cookie crumbs or a filling made from real cream cheese. I have nothing against that (I could eat half the traditional version of this cake that comes from the bakery it tastes so good). I wanted to try this as a vegan, gluten-free option just for the hell of it. I love the challenge that vegan, gluten-free baking gives me and I am always amazed when the recipes turn out! This tastes luxurious – with a rich chocolate cookie crumble that could be eaten all on its own, a smooth silky filling with a hint of Irish cream and a light topping of whipped cream – these little babies are sure to please any mother on Mother’s Day. To all the moms (or moms-to-be) out there, have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Irish Cream Cheesecake
 
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Processed Sugar-Free
Serves: 24 minis
Ingredients
  • CRUST
  • 10 pitted dates, soaked in water for 15mins
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp unsalted walnuts
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup brown rice flour
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 heaping tbsp coconut oil
  • "CHEESE" FILLING
  • 1½ cup raw cashews soaked for at least 3 hours
  • ½ cup vegan Irish cream (like a Bailey's - I got my recipe from spabettie.com)
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ⅓ cup of full fat coconut milk
  • squeeze of lemon juice from a slice of lemon
  • WHIP CREAM TOPPING
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  • unsweetened chocolate, shaved
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, place pecans & walnuts in grind into a rough flour. Put in a bowl and add coco powder, brown rice flour, sea salt and xanthan gum.
  2. Take soaked dates and pulse in food processor until paste-like. Add to dry crust ingredients. Add pure vanilla and coconut oil. Mix together until blended well.
  3. Using mini muffin trays (I used silicone ones which were perfect for this recipe) take a small ball of the crust and press into individual muffin molds.
  4. Bake at 375 for 10mins. Set aside while making filling.
  5. In the food processor take all filling ingredients and blend until smooth as cream (like picture above). Place on top of each mini crusts.
  6. Put a water bath on the bottom rack and bake cake for another 10mins. The water bath prevents cracking. Set aside to cool completely.
  7. Whip up all the whip cream toppings in a separate bowl until thick and creamy. Let cool in fridge until even thicker and you are able to make peeks.
  8. Once cakes are cooled, top with the vegan whip cream and sprinkle with unsweetened chocolate.
  9. Serve right away or store covered in fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy with a mother or your family on Mother's Day!