Monday, November 25, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars

I know this happens every year, but I really just can't believe it's already Thanksgiving again!  Last year at Thanksgiving I had a great time with my family, but it was a little tainted because I knew I would be working the night shift at the hospital.  Sleeping is kind of precious to me.  This year, I'm feeling pretty thankful that I won't have work, or school (sort of) to worry about!  The Murdock's are taking us to Cancuun and I'm pretty giddy about it.  It didn't really hit me until today, but I'm suddenly feeling spring fever and not wanting to accomplish any of the tasks I should get done before we leave.  My thoughts have been totally occupied by finding the perfect book to read on the beach, and what swimsuits I want to bring on the trip.  

Anyways, if you're assigned to bring a dessert for a Thanksgiving party, I highly recommend this one!  I've made it three times already this fall- it's wonderful.  If you love pumpkin pie and particularly love the crust- this is a winner.  The crust is like an oatmeal cookie brown sugar heaven.  I brought it to a family party and my Aunt Pam even asked for the recipe- she is the queen of desserts people.  I felt pretty honored.  

Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars

1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups quick oats (old fashioned works too)
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

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 evaporated milk or half and half
whipped cream and cinnamon, for topping (optional)

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Next, you'll make your crust.  Start by whisking together flour, oats, salt and baking soda until it's well mixed.  Add in the white and brown sugar, mixing until no clumps remain.  Combine melted butter and vanilla, then pour into the mixture slowly, stirring as you go and making sure it's evenly moistened.  (I really hate that word- moisture- but there's just no other way to put it).  

Press half the crust into a greased 8x8 baking dish and bake in preheated oven 15 minutes.  

While the crust is baking you can go ahead and make the pumpkin pie filling.  Whisk together 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. I also like to add a dash of pumpkin pie spice.  Here's a little mom *trick: packed and overflowing brown sugar-always! Whenever a baking recipe calls for brown sugar I always do a little extra.  Can't help it, that's what my mom taught me! Next you'll add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. 

There's probably a much better method to get the egg yolk but this is what works for me.  Just crack your egg into a bowl, and carefully scoop out the yolk with a spoon!  Sometimes the whites will kind of stick to the yolk but with a little patience it usually just falls right off.  

Next you'll mix in the pumpkin and milk, depending on how it looks, I'll add a little extra pumpkin puree. By this time, the bottom crust should be just about finished baking.

Pour the pumpkin pie filling over the crust

Spread evenly, and return to the oven to bake 15 minutes.  

Remove from the oven, and sprinkle the remaining cookie crumble bits on top (if you have any left).  I have the hardest time not snacking on the crust while I'm baking...woops. Return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes.  You'll know when it's done when the top is golden and the center jiggles only slightly.  Let it cool for 1 hour at room temperature, and another hour in the fridge. Cut into squares and top with whip cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon-honestly, it's great on it's own.  Or, you can just serve it warm with ice-cream right out of the oven like a crumble! 

Tonight I had somewhat of a wife fail.  I made german pancakes for dinner and we paired it with leftover stuffing from our turkey dinner at the in-law's last night.  I'm pretty sure Braedon mixed the two together- at least he has a full belly right? 
Happy Thanksgiving!