1 cup pumpkin purée
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or granulated sugar of choice)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 + 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
heaping 1/3 cup dried cranberries.
CASHEW BUTTER MAPLE GLAZE (OPTIONAL):
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
In a medium pot over medium heat, stir together the pumpkin, molasses, sugar, and oil. Heat until melted and combined. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
In a blender or food processor, add the rolled oats. Blend on the lowest speed (or pulse, if using a processor) until roughly chopped. You don't want to pulverize it into a flour - the goal here is to keep a coarse texture, with some large pieces of oats and some smaller ones.
In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (oats, flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cranberries).
Scoop the wet ingredients over the dry and stir well until combined. The mixture will be very sticky and heavy. Totally normal...swear.
Scoop the dough into the prepared square pan. Since the dough is so sticky and dense, it's challenging to spread out smoothly. I placed a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough and pressed down on it with my hands, trying to spread it out evenly as I went. It takes a bit of time, so don't worry! After pressing it as smoothly as I could, I placed a pastry roller on top of the parchment and rolled it smooth while pressing in the edges with my fingers.
Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 22-25 minutes (I baked 23) until firm to the touch. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before lifting out the square and cooling it on a cooling rack for another 30 minutes. Slice into 10-12 bars.
For the glaze (optional)