Pepita Cookie Bars

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Pepitas, also known as pumpkin seeds can be used as a nut substitute in a number of recipes, including these delicious, caramel-scented cookie bars.

Pepita Cookie Bars - Pepitas, also known as pumpkin seeds can be used as a nut substitute in a number of recipes, including these delicious, caramel-scented cookie bars. Bake some today!

Years ago I borrowed my mom’s recipe box and transcribed all the recipes from her collection into a small family cookbook. I made photocopies and bound the pages to give as Christmas gifts one year. Inside were all our family’s favorites that I remembered having as a child as well as any recipes that sounded interesting that I had never had.

Walnut Bars was one of those recipes. My sister told me about these bars for years and how they were a Pellowski keepsake, handed down from our great-grandmother, Josephine. That was news to me. Janel made them once for a school project and has since baked them to give as gifts at Christmas time.

Since walnuts are considered to be poison in my kitchen, I knew I couldn’t make them with walnuts. Instead, I used pepitas, pumpkin seeds that I buy from Trader Joe’s. I use pepitas and sunflower seeds often as a nut-free alternative. My girl isn’t allergic to almonds, but the only place I’ve found almonds that are not cross-contaminated with peanuts or walnuts is at Trader Joe’s, and we were out of those. So, pepitas it was.

(All that to say, you can use whatever nut or seed you want to use in these bars. A combination would be pretty fantastic, I think.)

Pepita Cookie Bars - Pepitas, also known as pumpkin seeds can be used as a nut substitute in a number of recipes, including these delicious, caramel-scented cookie bars. Bake some today!

Bake these bars in a 9×13-inch pan lined with parchment. This makes it so much easier to remove the bars from the pan and cut pretty, sharp-edged squares. The mixture bakes up high and puffy and sinks as it cools, leaving a few ridges and ripples. Let them cool completely before slicing.

Pepita Cookie Bars - Pepitas, also known as pumpkin seeds can be used as a nut substitute in a number of recipes, including these delicious, caramel-scented cookie bars. Bake some today!

For best results, trim off the ugly edges. You get to eat those yourself!

My sister likes to wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap. I stored them layered in parchment paper in an airtight container. Gobble them down within a week or freeze them for longer storage.

Pepita Cookie Bars - Pepitas, also known as pumpkin seeds can be used as a nut substitute in a number of recipes, including these delicious, caramel-scented cookie bars. Bake some today!

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Pepita Bars
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pepita bars
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 218 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pepitas or coarsely chopped nuts of your choice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the sugar and continue beating.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat this into the mixture. Stir in the vanilla and pepitas or nuts.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the mixture is golden brown and crisp looking on top.
  5. Cool the pan on a rack.
  6. Remove the parchment paper from the pan and trim ugly edges. Eat those right away.
  7. Cut square or rectangular bars. Store in an airtight container, layered with parchment.
Recipe Notes

Store bars at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts
Pepita Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 218 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 216mg9%
Potassium 213mg6%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 36g40%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 40IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 68mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Got a favorite heirloom cookie in YOUR family?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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Comments

  1. Lynae says

    I just recently found your blog and was excited to try these Pepita bars as one of my sons also has a walnut and peanut allergy. I was going to buy a bag of pepitas at Trader Joe’s today and noticed they are now labeled as cross-contaminated with peanuts! So bummed about this as I looked at an almost empty bag I have in the freezer and it does not have this warning. Any thoughts on where else to buy them? So hard to find things without cross-contamination labels these days.

    • The cross-contamination thing is a bane of my existence. The pepitas I had were safe, but now you have me wondering if they changed their supplier. Such a bummer! I’m not sure, but I will let you know if I hear of another source. Ugh. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Kristin says

    i am going to try this with Gluten Free flour, I will let you know how they turn out!

  3. Leah says

    These are soo good! Thanks for the great recipe!

    • They are addicting, aren’t they?! I want to try them with some other nuts sometime. Maybe almonds or hazelnuts which my daughter can have.

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