Here’s a scrumptious treat just right for a Halloween party or dinner.
Preparing Pumpkin Coconut Squares takes some time, but it’s mostly waiting time, not hands-on time. This beauty is four layers thick, and two of them require time to set up. There’s a gingersnap crust on the bottom, a layer of pumpkin/coconut milk purée, a layer of cream cheese and a topping of toasted coconut flakes.
If you’ve ever dug into a pumpkin pie and wondered where the flavor went, I can pinpoint the problem: Pumpkin purée is watery, whether it’s fresh or canned. Draining it concentrates the flavor, and here’s how to do it: First, wrap it in a layer of cheesecloth, then tie the cheesecloth like a hobo’s sack to a chopstick, skewer, or dinner knife, and hang the sack over a deep bowl. Let it drip for eight hours or overnight. Then squeeze the cheesecloth gently to remove any additional water. When you’re done, you’ll have eliminated ½ cup to ¾ cup water from the purée. (If you don’t have cheesecloth, a coffee filter will work.) Be sure to use pumpkin purée.
To lighten the recipe, swap in light coconut milk, one-third-less-fat cream cheese and unsweetened coconut flakes for the full-fat ingredients.