Vegan Molasses Pumpkin Streusel Bars 24.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2016 Dec 1, 2016

Here, a molasses shortbread crust provides the earthy base for a layer of pumpkin and vegan “cream cheese.”

Make Ahead: The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or wrapped individually and frozen for up to 1 month.


Servings:
24

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 24 servings

Ingredients
  • For the base
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, such as Tofutti
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour, preferably unbleached
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup soy milk or other plant-based milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered egg replacer, such as Ener-G
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • For the topping
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, preferably unbleached
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons plant-based butter substitute or margarine

Directions

For the base: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking oil spray, then line it with parchment paper (bottom and sides).

Combine the shortening and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger and salt in a medium bowl.

Whisk together the molasses and water in a liquid measuring cup; with the mixer on low speed, pour this mixture into the shortening-sugar mixture, alternating with the flour mixture, just until a dough starts to come together; it should be pliable but not too sticky. You may not need to use all of the molasses mixture. Spread the dough evenly in the pan; bake (middle rack) for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Whisk together the vegan cream cheese and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth; immediately spread it over the still-warm cookie base.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and salt, then add the pumpkin and soy milk. Whisk the egg replacer and water together and mix into the pumpkin mixture. Gently spread over the layer of vegan cream cheese.

For the topping: Combine the flour, brown sugar and butter substitute in a mixing bowl. Use your clean fingers to work the mixture into a crumbly consistency. Scatter the topping evenly over the pumpkin filling. Bake (middle rack) for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the center looks set. Allow to cool completely in the pan before removing to cut into 24 equal bars.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Danielle Konya, owner of Vegan Treats Bakery in Bethelehem, Pa.

Tested by Kristen Hartke.

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