I don’t know about you, but I love pumpkin flavored things all year. It’s a shame that pumpkin gets a brief over-the-top highlight for two months in the fall and then basically disappears. So I bring you this recipe in protest of keeping pumpkin locked away until October. And since it has all the deliciousness of a pie, but is shaped like a bar, it’s totally got year-round potential.
This year, I mixed things up at Thanksgiving and made these pumpkin bars instead of traditional pumpkin pies. These bars are delicious. They serve a large crowd, and have all the delicious flavor of pumpkin pie, plus a chewy, crunchy crumb topping. If you need a dessert to feed a crowd, I’d definitely recommend these! If you don’t need to feed a crowd you can just make half a recipe in an 8×8″ pan.
Makes a 9×13″ pan
Adapted from Joy the Baker
- 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13″ pan and line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, salt and oats. Add cold butter and quickly work it into the dry ingredients until butter is broken down to the size of small peas. Add the chopped pecans and toss to combine. Remove 2 1/2 cups to be the crumb topping, and place in the fridge until ready to use.
Dump the remaining crumb mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the pumpkin and sugar, beat until well mixed and smooth. Add the eggs and egg whites, beating to combine. Then add the spices, salt and vanilla extract, and beat until well mixed.
Remove crust and crumble from the fridge. Pour filling over the crust and then gently add the crumble on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center no longer jiggles. (I broiled mine for 1-2 minutes to get a nice golden top, but watch it like a hawk so that it doesn’t burn!) Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing.