Don’t even think about saying you want some of this because I’m not sharing. I love me some pumpkin cream cheese bars.
Yeah, I see you scratching your head, pretending you don’t know why there’s no way you’re getting near my pan of pumpkin bars, like you don’t remember me talking about my love for pumpkin desserts when we discussed the Pumpkin-Ginger Tunnel Cake, Warm Pumpkin-Blueberry Bread, Brandied Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin & Ginger Pound Cake, Pumpkin-Pecan Pie Bars, or especially (swoon) my mom’s Pumpkin Pie.
So if you’re thinking that just because we’re still feeling the glow from Thanksgiving and should be immersing ourselves in the giving spirit of Christmas, think again. I already have to share with Hubby and Dudette.
Of course, Dudette continues her anti-pumpkin campaign, one that I’ll admit I’m not pushing her to relinquish with any conviction. After all, if she starts liking the stuff, I’ll have to split desserts three ways instead of just two.
This recipe called to me from one of the stacks of magazines I snagged from my mother-in-law’s garage. It’s another Taste of Home issue, this one from just a couple of months ago.
And it’s pumpkin. Glorious, delicious pumpkin.
There are two parts to this, the crust and the filling.
The crust is a smiple combination of flour, sugar, butter, oats and pecans. In other words, shortbread. On steroids. The oats and pecans are an awesome addition.
So, mix the crust, save out a bit for the topping, press the rest in the bottom of a baking dish and put it in the oven for 15 minutes. That’s part one.
While the crust bakes, the filling comes together just as easily. Cream cheese joins spices and sugar in a bowl and gets beaten. Add in a few eggs, some pumpkin and a touch of vanilla, blend it up and pour it over the warm crust. Cover with the set-aside topping and bake until done. That’s it.
Two little notes though.
First, the recipe calls for a small bowl to be used for the crust. Use a medium one. My small bowl barely held the three-plus cups of stuff that made up the bottom layer. The same goes with the filling; instead of using the small bowl that’s called for, go with medium. It cuts down on the wall clean-up.
Second, As you can see, a cup of reserved crust didn’t make for a very thick layer of streusel topping. I wished there was more.
You already know how I feel about this. I love it. Hubby feels the same way (bummer). I caught him eating it for breakfast this morning (double bummer). With a shortbread crust, pumpkin and cream cheese, how can it be anything but amazing?
Dudette is Dudette is Dudette. She still doesn’t care for pumpkin. She was willing to give this a try, but she didn’t care for the pumpkin or the pecans. Oh bummer.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
From a process point, I’d definitely use a medium bowl for small and a large bowl for medium. I’d also make time and a half the amount of crumb mixture so I’d have more for the topping than just a cup.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar, divided
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup cold butter, cubed
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 15-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13×9 baking pan.
- Mix together flour, ¼ cup sugar and brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in oats and pecans. Reserve one cup for topping.
- Press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- While the crust bakes, beat cream cheese, spices and remaining sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Add eggs and beat on low speed until just blended. Pour filling over warm crust and sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture.
- Bake the bars for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and the filling is set. Cool on a wire rack. Serve or refrigerate, covered, within 2 hours of baking.
If you enjoy this, try these other recipes: