I’ve been all about pumpkin lately, and I was so excited to see this recipe. It’s a lot like pumpkin pie, but in bar form. It starts off with an oat-flour crust, which is pre-baked before you add the filling. The filling is very similar to a filling that you would use for pumpkin pie, but it does have cream cheese for a creamier filling. The spice mix flavored the pumpkin perfectly and gave it just the right amount of sweetness. This is a great fall treat to enjoy when you want something pumpkin flavored but don’t want to go through the trouble of making a pie. It’s also a great treat to serve for guests because you can just pick it up and it’s less messy- but that can be dangerous :) The recipe said that you can use either butterscotch or chocolate chips, and I used butterscotch because I like how it tastes with pumpkin. I think that white chocolate chips would be good to and that you could use any of the three or a combination and these would be delicious.
Pumpkin Pie Bars
Source: Joy the Baker, who adapted them from Kraft
1-1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) cold butter or margarine
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons bourbon (optional)
a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips for sprinkling on top (optional)
HEAT oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; grease foil. Mix flour, 1/4 granulated sugar and brown sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and nuts.
RESERVE 1 cup oat mixture; press remaining onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, vanilla, bourbon, pumpkin and spice with mixer until well blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips (if desired).
BAKE 25 min.; cool 10 min. Use foil to transfer dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.
Can’t find pumpkin pie spice? Simply mix 1 tsp. each ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and allspice, then use as directed.