Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bites

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If, like me, you’re ready for a respite from rich Thanksgiving desserts but are unwilling to forgo seasonal treats, you will enjoy this recipe. After downing an overflowing plate of savory offerings on Thanksgiving Day, I loaded a dessert plate with samplings of sweet potato cheesecake, flour-less chocolate cake with raspberry puree, pumpkin pie, and apple pie. I fully enjoyed the delectable melange of sweets, but am now craving a lighter option to satisfy my sweet tooth.

I originally intended for these two-bite delights to be a pumpkin pie version of the infamous Larabar, but the addition of pumpkin puree yielded an overly sticky end result. Not to be deterred from achieving my vision, I coated the pumpkin pie bites with chopped pecans to form an instant “crust”. This final step not only made the bites easier to store and eat, but also added a nice textural contrast to the mushy date and nut paste.

These guiltless autumnal treats would be lovely as a hostess gift for a holiday party or as a welcomed surprise for relatives and friends. Just be sure to make an extra batch for yourself!

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Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bites

yields 6 two-bite servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped medjool dates, about 6 pitted
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp raw pecans pieces
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Place chopped dates into the bowl of a food processor, and process until the dates form a ball of sticky paste. Remove from the processor bowl.
  2. Place 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp pecan pieces into the food processor bowl, and process until finely ground. There may be a few larger pieces, which is okay.
  3. Add date paste back into the processor bowl, along with the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Process mixture until it forms a large ball. Remove from food processor.
  4. Form 6 small balls out of the mixture by rolling them between your palms. Set aside.
  5. Place the 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans onto a cutting board or plate and roll the balls around in the nuts until fully coated.
  6. Once again, roll the balls between your palms so that the nuts adhere and create a “crust”.
  7. Store in the refrigerator.

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