Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Bars


Oatmeal and raisins were the mandatory ingredients for the October Improv Challenge. I usually have a couple of ideas in my mind, and I think them over for a few weeks before tackling my recipe of choice. Even though it is October, it is still so hot in my neck of the woods that I started out making oatmeal cookie ice cream. Every time I make ice cream I think it will be the last time for the year, but if it doesn't cool down soon I'll be making ice cream for Thanksgiving! Despite oatmeal and raisins bringing to mind warm, homey fall flavors in cookies and crisps, I forged ahead with my cool treat and successfully got the ice cream to taste like oatmeal cookie dough.  However, I wasn't quite able to master an oatmeal and raisin add-in that we liked, and kept mulling over ideas that could possibly make it work.

For a few days, about a week ago, we had some rain and clouds and real October weather, so I took advantage of that and decided to scrap the ice cream and go with a fall dessert. Boy Mimi loves anything pumpkin, so I decided to combine a family favorite with the challenge ingredients and came up with these pumpkin bars. They have a chewy cake-like base with a creamy pumpkin pie filling, and it is all topped with a crispy oatmeal-raisin streusel topping. It was a winning combination of cake, pumpkin pie, and oatmeal raisin cookies. Boy Mimi definitely approved and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the oatmeal raisin addition to these bars. Unfortunately we are now back to 90 degrees outside so I may have to revisit that ice cream recipe, but I know we will definitely be back to this recipe, oatmeal raisin crumb and all, in the coming cooler months. 

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Prepare a 9x13 pan by spraying with cooking spray or grease and flour.
Pre-heat oven to 350F

 2-1/2 cups sifted flour
 1 Tsp. salt
 1-1/2 cups sugar
 2 Tsp. double acting baking powder
 1/4 cup cold butter

Preparation: In a food processor combine flour, salt, suga,r and baking powder and mix well to blend. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the food processor bowl. Cover and process until mixture is very fine. Make sure that the butter is completely  and evenly distributed in the flour mixture. Remove 1 1/2 cups and reserve for topping. To remaining mix add:

 1/3 cup soft butter
 1 egg

 Pulse a few times until combined, but still crumbly. Press into prepared pan.


1 large can pumpkin or 28 ounces of fresh cooked and drained pumpkin
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
2/3 cups milk.

To the now empty food processor add all ingredients and process until  homogeneous, and pour over the crust.

To reserved crust mixture add:

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 soft butter
1/3 cup raisins

In a medium bowl mix all ingredients together to form a large crumb and sprinkle evenly over the filling mixture. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Cut and serve. 
printable recipe

Links: Foodie Friday