Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Perfection Bars

The other day I got obsessed with It's a website where you flag topics that you are interested in, then click "stumble" and you are directed to sites that it thinks you will enjoy. It's like crack... I couldn't stop. I was directed to lots of food blogs, and one that came up had a recipe for pumpkin pie bars. Here it is. I made them, and Caenaan LOVED them. I was on the fence about them, as they were very soft and the flavor was a bit off. I decided to create my own recipe based on these pumpkin bars, and if I do say so myself, they are AMAZING. Here is the recipe!

Pumpkin Pie Perfection Bars

Crust Ingredients:
2 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Cups chopped pecans

1 Cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup brown sugar

Filling Ingredients:
1 (15 oz) can Pumpkin Puree
1 (12 oz) can Evaporated Milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4-1/2 cup cinnamon chips (I found mine at The Good Food Store, but Hershey's also makes them)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 9X13 aluminum pan with parchment paper, allowing it to hang over the sides.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together butter and sugar until combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Sift together flour and salt in separate bowl, and then add to the butter/sugar mixture. Add the pecans and mix on low speed until combined and dough starts to come together (it will be slightly crumbly, but will hold together when you press it). Press about 2/3 of the dough into the parchment lined pan, reserving the rest for the topping. Bake for 18-20 minutes (you want it firm but not browned).

While the crust bakes, assemble the filling. Combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar/spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Add oats and brown sugar to remaining crust mixture and crumble it together. Set aside.

When you remove the crust from the oven, turn the oven up to 425 degrees F and immediately sprinkle the crust with the cinnamon chips. Then pour the pumpkin filling over the top. Return to oven, bake for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the pan and gently sprinkle with the oat/brown sugar/crust mixture. You want an even layer, but might not use all of the mixture. (Save the extra and use it as a crumble topping for baked apples or berries. Yum.) Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bars cool for about 15 minutes, then remove them from the pan, cut and serve. Ice cream might be necessary. O. M. G.

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