Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Bars with an Oatmeal Cookie Crust

Matthew's new favorite word is "Behold!" I have no idea where he first heard it, but this delightful little word has quickly become part of his vocabulary. He uses it all the time and it only adds to his already obnoxiously dramatic demeanor. Just a few examples:

While helping me change is sister: "BEHOLD! A diaper for Baby Emma."

While washing his hands: "BEHOLD! Matthew puts on soap and water!"

While eating lunch: "BEHOLD! A delicious hot dog for Matthew!"

While playing with his toys: "BEHOLD! I bring you the Monkey!" (I should probably note that at this point his monkey is being suspended at the very tip of a toy lightsaber...a very regal position indeed).

This photo showcases how Matthew dresses himself for bed and how
he thinks his little sister (like the cat) deserves a good head pat every now and then!
Maybe Matthew's love of this word is rubbing off on me, or maybe it is because I found this recipe so darn fantastic that it seems only appropriate to introduce them in such a manner. Either way...

BEHOLD, I bring you Pumpkin Pie Bars with an Oatmeal Cookie Crust. A creamy, dreamy pumpkin filling perfectly layered between layers of oatmeal cookie crust and crumb.

This was a new recipe for me to try this fall and it has already catapulted to the top of my "favorites list." I am a huge texture person when it comes to food, so this dessert was an absolute joy to eat. The bottom layer of oatmeal crust is chewy, while the middle layer of pumpkin pie is creamy and soft. The remainder of the oatmeal cookie dough that is crumbled over the top is crisp after baking. Delicious!

These bars can be scooped out of the pan cobbler-style and served warm with cinnamon or vanilla ice cream or they can be chilled overnight in the fridge where they will firm up and slice easily into neat little bars. I shared these with some friends and they were enjoyed by all. While trying to take a couple pictures, Matthew kept sneaking pieces to snack on. I think my pumpkin fetish might be rubbing off on him.

Pumpkin Pie Bars with an Oatmeal Cookie Crust
barely adapted from Cooking Classy

For the cookie layers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups quick oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Pumpkin Pie Filling:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed-light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned pureed pumpkin

1/3 cup 2% milk (do not use skim)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt and baking soda. Add in 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar an mix until no clumps remain. Combine melted butter and vanilla and add to mixture, then stir with a spoon until evenly moistened.

Gently press half of the mixture into a greased 8 by 8-inch baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

While the crust bakes, whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in egg, egg yolk and vanilla and stir until blended. Mix in pumpkin then milk. Pour mixture over baked cookie portion and return to oven to bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle remaining cookie crumb mixture over the top. Return to the oven to bake about 20 - 25 minutes more or until the top is golden and the center only jiggles slightly. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before scooping out and serving warm with ice cream.

If cutting into bars, let cool for 1 hour at room temperature and then transfer to refrigerator to cool for at least 1 hour longer (overnight is better). Cut into squares and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Yum - that sounds delicious! I think I have all the ingredients, too - what luck! Your reference to "pumpkin fetish" makes me laugh because my nephew wakes up asking for pumpkin bread. And since I freeze many, many quarts, I make it for him year round. I don't think I am helping him any, nor his momma who tries to make a loaf last. Looking forward to tasting these cobbler style with some dulce de leche ice cream.