Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Pie baking at its finest

I know I've posted an excess of pumpkin recipes lately, but it's the holidays and with Thanksgiving just a week away, who can blame me? When it comes to pie, no questions asked, I'm for pumpkin all the way. These pumpkin pie bars brought my appreciation for pumpkin pie to a whole new insanely delicious level. With a moist, almost cheesecake like pumpkin filling nestled between a buttery crust, crunchy topping, and sweet white chocolate chips, this really is a new, and very successful, twist on classic pumpkin pie. I couldn't thank one of my new favorite blogs, Annie's Eats, enough for introducing me to this fabulous recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Bars
original recipe

For the crust and topping:
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
12 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 c old-fashioned oats
1/2 c chopped pecans (optional)

For the filling:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract

Butterscotch, white chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate chips for topping

Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with foil, extending over the edges of the pan. Lightly grease foil.

Combine flour and sugars in a small mixing bowl. Add pieces of butter and cut in with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and chopped pecans.

Reserve 1 c of crust mixture and set aside. Add remaining crust mixture to pan and press evenly onto the bottom. Bake crust alone for 15 minutes, preparing filling while it is baking.

To make filling, combine cream cheese, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Mix until smooth and well combined. Once crust is done baking, evenly spread filling over crust. Sprinkle with reserved crust mixture and chocolate chips, as desired. Bake for 25 minutes, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, using foil overhang to lift bars out when ready to slice.

Don't the white chocolate chips look like mini toasted marshmallows?

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