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4 Time Winner

mpkin Bars Recipe

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Pumpkin Bars Recipe

I love Pumpkin Pie. So much so that it is a year round dessert in my home. But sometimes I want to make something different or I need a pumpkin dessert for a large gathering. These Pumpkin Bars are perfect for that. They are made in a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) pan. The bottom crust is a crumbly pecan shortbread that is topped with a rich and creamy custard-like pumpkin filling. While delicious plain I like to dress them up with a piped rosette of whipped cream, and I will warn you, that eating just one is almost impossible.  

The Pecan shortbread base has buttery sweet caramel flavor and a grainy texture. It is made with pecans that are processed, along with flour, until finely ground. The crust is pre-baked as this ensures that the pumpkin filling will not soften the shortbread too much. The next step is to make the pumpkin filling which entails just a quick stir of all the ingredients in a large bowl. This is a rich custard filling consisting of eggs, pumpkin puree, heavy cream, spices (ground cinnamon and ginger), brown and white sugar. Once made it is poured over the pre baked shortbread crust, that has cooled, and then everything is baked until the filling is set and has a lovely sheen to it. Once the bars have been left to cool to room temperature, cut them into squares and, if desired, garnish with a piped rosette of cream. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until serving time. These Pumpkin Bars can be stored for three to four days in the refrigerator.
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Pumpkin Bars: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan. Next, line the pan with foil (shiny side facing up) and then butter the foil.

Shortbread: Place the pecans, flour, and salt in the bowl of your food processor and process until the pecans are finely ground.

Then, in the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture and beat just until the batter starts to clump together. Press the dough firmly and evenly onto the bottom of your prepared pan. Lightly prick the surface of the shortbread with the tines of a fork. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until the shortbread is set and is golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Pumpkin Filling: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the pumpkin, sugars, ground spices, and salt and whisk to combine. Gradually stir in the cream. Pour the filling over the pre baked crust and bake for about 30 - 40 minutes, or until the filling is set in the center and has a shiny sheen. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Run a knife around the inside edges of the pan. Lift the pumpkin bars from the pan by holding onto the edges of the aluminum foil. Place on a cutting board, peel back the aluminum foil, and cut into bars or squares. The bars can be covered and refrigerated for up to three days. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Garnish: Whip the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Place the whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe a small rosette of cream on top of each pumpkin bar.

Makes 32 pumpkin bars.


1/2 cup (50 grams) pecans, coarsely chopped

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (110 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pumpkin Filling:

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups (425 grams) pure pumpkin puree (or 1 - 15 ounce can)

1/2 cup (100 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (240 ml/grams) heavy whipping cream (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)

Garnish: (optional)

1/2 cup (120 ml) cold heavy whipping cream

1/2 - 1 tablespoon (7 - 15 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste




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