October 30, 2012

To Die For


As promised in yesterday’s post, here is the DELICIOUS recipe for my Pumpkin Pie Bars.  Although not the most figure friendly, they are by far the tastiest fall treat of all.  This recipe initially came from a Kraft Food & Family magazine, but with a few minor tweaks, I have mastered the perfect crust consistency and made it my own.





After making the original recipe (found here) many times, I finally found a way to not have a crumbly crust when cutting the finished bars…softened (not cold) butter.  Most recipes with a shortbread/crumble type crust instruct you to use cold butter and “cut it in” with either two knives (a pain) or a pastry blender (not the most fun). 

I found that even after working it in with all my might, I still didn’t have the consistency that I wanted.  There was always too much flour left over and the butter wasn’t dispersed properly.  By using softened butter, the ingredients clump together nicely and the crust stays together even after the dessert is cooled and cut.  In my opinion, much better than the original!


Pumpkin Pie Bars

Print this recipe!

  • 1-1/3 cups  flour
  • 3/4 cup  granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup  packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup  butter, softened
  • 1 cup  old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup  chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 pkg.  (8 oz.) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can  (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp.  pumpkin pie spice

For crumb topping (mix together in a small bowl and set aside):

  • 1/3 C flour
  • 1/4 C butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/3 C oats
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C nuts (optional)



HEAT oven to 350°F.

LINE 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; spray with cooking spray. Mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar, and softened butter in medium bowl until blended.  (Best to use hands – warning:  your hands will be messy).  Mix in oats and nuts (again, with hands).

**tip for easier lining of foil:  Mold foil over bottom of pan leaving 3 inches extending over the short sides.  Pop pre-formed  molded foil into pan and crunch extended sides of foil to form handles.  Use handles to lift baked item out of pan when cooled (see pictures below).




PRESS oat mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin and spice with mixer until blended; pour over crust. Sprinkle with crumb topping.



BAKE 25 min.; cool 10 min. Use foil to transfer dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely before cutting.





This will be a crowd pleaser any where, any place, any time…you have my word.


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