Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

October 18, 2013

pumpkin pie bars.

Let me tell you about a fantastic baked good I recently had. I would say it is the best pumpkin item I've ever had.

Okay. Imagine a homemade yeasted bread. Sort of like really fresh bakery bread. It's not too sweet, which works in this case. Now imagine a ton of crumb pieces the size of ping pong balls (maybe a little smaller, but not by much) embedded on top of the bread. The crumbs are brown sugary, cinnamony, and buttery. What with the crumbs and dusting of powdered sugar, you don't notice the inside until you cut into the loaf. What do you find?

Swirls. Thick, massive indulgent swirls of straight up pumpkin pie, in the bread. Sometimes you get a slice that is more pumpkin pie than bread. You find that good things finally happen to good people.

My roommate actually got this bread from an apple orchard and let me try some. I strive to one day make it (I even emailed them asking for the recipe, but they rejected me ..), but until then, eating it gave me some intense motivation to get excited about baking again, especially with pumpkin!

This is the first pumpkin recipe of the season. It's going to be hard for subsequent pumpkin items to live up to this.

The base of this bar is a very simple pate brisee - esque dough. It only has flour, butter, and sugar. 

The filling consists of the typical pumpkin pie ingredients, as well as cream cheese for a creamier, more luxurious feeling bar.

Look at my notes for mixing the filling. If you don't do it properly, you may end up with cream cheese chunks like mine! Which aren't detrimental to the taste in the least, but I actually made them again recently, and mixed them correctly this time. The filling was much more homogenous the 2nd time.

The first thing to hit your tongue is the buttery crust, followed by creamy pumpkin, and then more crunchy browned crumbs. 

It's too easy to not make. Enjoy!

These were the only two left before I could take pictures :( 

Pumpkin Pie Bars
very slightly adapted from here. be sure to mix filling ingredients in order as written!
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used granulated and it was fine, although brown is probably much better)
  • 1 stick (or 8 TB) unsalted butter, cut into chunks

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • heaping 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Make dough: Mix together the flour and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Using your hands will help a lot.
  3. Reserve 2/3 cup of dough for crumble topping.
  4. Pat remaining dough into bottom of a round 9" cake pan or a square pan. Bake for about 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix cream cheese with sugar. Add pumpkin. Add rest of ingredients. Beat well.
  6. Once crust is ready, pour filling into crust. Top with reserved dough, squeezing chunks in your hands to create more solid, bigger crumbs.
  7. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until filling is firm, but not dry.
  8. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing. These will be hard to resist.

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