Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Once again, another delicious recipe from Annie's Eats. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I should test drive these Pumpkin Pie Bars. They are very interesting. Delicious, but interesting. They are definitely a pie bar. The bottom and topping is kind of like pie crust, the middle is smooth and creamy like pumpkin pie. So if you are not a fan of pumpkin pie, I am not sure these are for you. But I'll let you be the judge of that!

Pumpkin Pie Bars
(from Annie's Eats)

For the crust and topping:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
12 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup chopped pecans
(next time I will add some cinnamon)

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (Next time I will probably double this or add a healthy dose of cinnamon)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Butterscotch chips, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan.  Lightly grease the foil.  Combine the flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl and toss with a fork.  Add the pieces of butter to the dry ingredients and cut it in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the oats and chopped pecans.

Reserve 1 cup of the crust mixture and set aside.  Add the remaining crust mixture to the prepared baking pan and press onto the bottom of the pan in an even layer.  Bake the crust alone in the oven for 15 minutes.  In the meantime, prepare the filling.

To make the filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on medium speed until smooth and well combined.

Once the crust has been removed from the oven, pour the filling into the pan and smooth over the crust.  Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture and butterscotch chips, as desired.  Bake for 25 minutes, remove from the oven* and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Slice and serve.

*A word to the wise; mine came out slightly....wobbly. I kept putting them back in to bake more, but they never "set". BUT once they cooled, they were perfect. Just know that they aren't going to be the texture of a traditional bar, but more like pumpkin pie.


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