This recipe is for all my How I Met Your Mother fans out there. Last fall, I did a lot of binge watching Netflix. It started when I was diagnosed with strep throat and bed ridden for several days. During that time, I needed something to seriously cheer me up. I thought hanging out with Ted, Barney, Robin, Lily, and Marshall for several hours every day ought to do the trick! And it did! In a few days, I had laughed my way to better health. But the HIMYM addiction didn’t stop there. It took me about 8 weeks to watch all 9 seasons of this show, and when I finished the last episode, I felt like there was a huge hole in my life. It was as though my 5 best friends suddenly quit hanging out with me. It didn’t help that I, like Barney and the gang, lived in New York City, and everywhere I turned I was reminded of my old friends. The pub adjacent to my apartment building started to look a lot like MacLaren’s. When meeting a new Canadian, a cascade of wisecracks would go off in my head. I frequently referred to The Playbook and was met with empty stares. The heartbreak I experienced was nothing short of legen… wait for it… dary.
Every HIMYM Halloween episode has a recurring plot line: Ted’s search for the Slutty Pumpkin. First introduced in Episode 6 of Season 1, the Slutty Pumpkin is a cute girl Ted met at a Halloween party a few years back. While her love for penguins and a drink named “The Tootsie Roll” is endearing, she catches Ted’s attention with strategically placed holes in her pumpkin costume. She writes her number for Ted on the back of a Kit Kat bar, which Lily accidentally gives away later in the night. Poor Ted! Now that my non-HIMYM fans (you’re missing out!) have a little backstory, let’s talk more about this amazing recipe…
These bars have everything. Cheesecake, pumpkin pie, chocolate, and a scrumptious crumbly crust leave no craving unsatisfied. They are reminiscent of slutty brownies (brownies with Oreos and chocolate chip cookies baked throughout) in that they contain a little bit of everything. But unlike regular brownies, they are dominated by pumpkin spice flavors instead of chocolate. They would be aptly named, Slutty Pumpkin Bars! While Ted continues his search for the Slutty Pumpkin, perhaps he can enjoy one of these bars ;)
DISCLAIMER: These bars definitely fall into the category of paleo-ISH. They are free of grains and refined oils, but contain some full-fat dairy and more sugar than I would eat on a regular basis.
Ted Mosby’s Slutty Pumpkin Bars
Pumpkin cheesecake meets chocolate chip pumpkin pie. Underneath of this decadent creation lies a chocolate-y crumb crust, and the top is drizzled with (you guessed it!) chocolate. This hot mess of a cookie bar should keep Ted satisfied until next Halloween, when he continues his search for the long lost Slutty Pumpkin!
1 cup coconut flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 8 ounce packages full-fat cream cheese, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup + 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup agave nectar
¼ cup almond butter
2 tablespoons water
½ cup coconut flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ bag of mini chocolate chips
½ bag of mini chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9 baking pan. Set aside.
For the crust: Whisk together coconut flour, cocoa powder, flaxseed meal, brown sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Pour melted butter over top and mix with your fingers until crumbly. Press into greased baking pan in an even layer.
For the cheesecake: In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and brown sugar on medium to high speed for about a minute or until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, and beat until combined. Add vanilla and pumpkin puree, beat until combined. Pour over crumb crust and smooth flat with a spatula.
For the pumpkin chocolate chip bars: Beat together wet ingredients (pumpkin puree through eggs) in a medium mixing bowl on medium speed until combined. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (coconut flour through nutmeg). Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Fold together with a spatula just until combined. Add chocolate chips, stir until combined. Batter should be thicker than a cake or quick bread, but thinner than a cookie dough. Use your hands to drop small pieces of pumpkin bar batter all over the top of the cheesecake.