It's already November, which means "goodbye" Halloween and a full leap into the holiday season! Have you already started planning which day you're putting up that tree? Or, how soon will you turn up the Christmas tunes? How about your first sip of Egg Nog?
I'm so glad that the holidays are falling during my second trimester of this pregnancy so that I'm past the nausea phase and into the "scoop me that double portion!" phase, because I plan to make a fair helping of Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies. I've already started with these Pumpkin Pie Bars, largely because Ben loves pumpkin pie and he only gets it once a year. I figured this could be a way to get it twice a year. 😉
As crazy as it might seem, these taste just like pumpkin pie, but with an oatmeal crusted base. Don't try to package these up and mail them to your friend, because they are a much softer consistency than your typical bar dessert and have the consistency of pumpkin pie. Some might prefer these with a dollop of whipped cream, like Ben, but I prefer it as is.
Pumpkin Pie Bars
For the crust and topping:
- 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup cold unsalted butter , diced
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- ¼ to ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup butterscotch chips , for topping
For the filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
- 1 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-x13-inch pan with Baker's Joy, or line with foil and lightly grease the foil. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour and sugars for the crust/topping. Toss in the diced butter and blend it in with a pastry cutter, two knives or the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the oats and chopped pecans.
- Set aside one cup of the crust/topping mixture. Press the remaining mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
- For the filling, in a mixing bowl, blend together the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla on medium speed until smooth.
- Remove the crust from the oven and immediately pour the filling into the pan. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to smooth the filling over the crust. Sprinkle the 1 cup reserved crust/topping mixture over top, along with the butterscotch chips. Return to the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let set at room temperature to cool. Slice and serve when cooled completely.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Source: adapted from Annie's Eats, originally Joy the Baker and Kraft