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!
Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bites
yields 6 two-bite servings
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Form 6 small balls out of the mixture by rolling them between your palms. Set aside.
- 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.
- Once again, roll the balls between your palms so that the nuts adhere and create a “crust”.
- Store in the refrigerator.