Necessity is the Mother of all invention……

Or is that lack of organisation is the Mother of all invention? I rarely follow recipes which can sometime have quite disastrous consequences. Couple that with an OCD mind that is hell bent on making something with particular ingredients and the kitchen can look like a science experiment exploded on the bench top. Yesterday was one such day as the Friendly Farmer had once again delivered a delicious pumpkin itching to be used. It was quite a toss up on what to make but I started thinking about chocolate and graham crackers that my sweet sister had sent me and magic cookie bars adapted for pumpkin SEEMED like a logical solution.

That’s what I was making……no matter what! And I wanted to make a glutinous version for my team as they hadn’t had treats since I’ve been off and I didn’t think I had enough gluten free graham crackers to stretch.

Experiment 1 – I couldn’t find the right size pan so substituted for smaller pan which means higher bars, right?

Experiment 2 – The box of gluten free graham crackers only yielded 60% of the crumbs I needed for the base – DARN! While I could have used the Leda gf arrowroot biscuits or ginger snaps, I did have almost a full box of delicious Goldbaum’s ice cream cones that were broken to bits so in the food processor they went.

Experiment 3 – substitute pumpkin in the base for the butter and oil.

Experiment 4 – I KNEW I had normal graham crackers……could …. not…..find…..them! I substituted cake mix batter and mixed with pumpkin instead. (Graham crackers were found this morning while looking for plastic container for cereal grrrr)

Experiment 5 – don’t measure any of the toppings and eye ball how much is enough!

I did take a photo of the ingredients you will need but I can’t find the memory card now (fully expect to find it somewhere clever tomorrow like the dishwasher).

Pumpkin Magic Cookie Bars
Either 4 cups crushed biscuits like arrowroot or gingersnaps or 1 package of gf cake mix
(I generally use Well & Good or Macro for recipes that call for cake mix base)
About 1 to 1 & ½ cups of mashed pumpkin
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 cup of crushed toffee candy (I used Heath bits as they are gf but I think Darrell Lea toffee is as well)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 can Nestle skim condensed milk

Preheat oven to 175 and line either a 9 x 13 pan (for cake mix) or a square 8 x 8 pan (for cookie crumb base) with baking paper ensuring it comes up the sides or lay both ways.

Mix the pumpkin with the crumbs or cake mix until it comes together like cookie batter. It will be dense and should not be runny so adjust the pumpkin accordingly. Press into the bottom of the pan. Here’s where the fun begins…….throw in the chocolate chips, toffee and coconut. You could add anything here…..white chips, caramel chips, peanut butter chips, nuts. Pour the can of condensed milk over the top and bake taking care not to burn the top. I turned my pans after 15 minutes and baked another 10 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, cover with foil and continue to bake for about 30 minutes in total. The top will be quite soft and sticky at the end of 30 minutes which is just fine. I turned my oven off and left the pans there for another 10 minutes or so before removing to cooling racks. Once the pans have completely cooled, cover tightly with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from pan and discard baking paper. Use a very large knife to cut your bars……they are thick and gooey! Deliver to your friends, be accused of turning them all into diabetics, savour in the praise, and dream of the variations to come! Cookies n Cream anyone?

PS – my family thought it was Christmas this morning as I asked them to test the bars before breakfast (not recommended)  :)

PSS – I also made Lucky Charm treats for my kids which has sparked the marshmallow obsession.  Stay tuned for that roller coaster ride!


  1. GK says:

    Magic Pumpkin cookie bars are a true winner!!! Nothing but ravings of how nice these are at our place. Another SOS success!!!!


  1. [...] time I made “Magic Cookie Bars” I was accused by one of my colleagues of giving the office diabetes.   I do have to admit, that [...]