pumpkin pie bars

This one is an oldie but a goodie for me. I clipped the recipe many years ago from Kraft’s Food and Family magazine and have made it many times.

Pumpkin Pie Bars
(from Kraft Foods)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup cold butter
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I used walnuts because that’s what I had)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
15 oz. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 T pumpkin pie spice*

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with foil, with the ends of foil extending over the sides; grease foil using pan spray.

Mix flour, 1/4 cup sugar and all the brown sugar in a medium sugar; cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the oats and nuts.

Reserve 1 cup of the oat mixture; press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes.

Bottom crust before baking…
… and after.

Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin and spice with mixer until well blended.

*If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, feel free to substitute a mixture of equal amounts of ¬†cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice (or use whatever proportions and whichever of those spices you prefer).

Pour the mixture over crust…

… then sprinkle top with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes.

Use the foil overhang to lift the dessert out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting. Cut into 24 bars to serve.

I love making these in the fall — the creamy pumpkin custard marries well with the chewy sweetness of the oat/nut streusel and the buttery bottom crust.¬†It’s terrific for a little pumpkin pie fix!