Pumpkin Pie Bars
Or pumpkin blondies. Or pumpkin brownies. Truthfully, my intent was for these to be pumpkin blondies without a leavening agent so that they would have more of a dense, brownie texture. However, upon eating one, I really think that the flavor and texture is most similar to a pumpkin pie, minus the crust and with a cinnamon-sugar mixture sprinkled on top. Not too shabby a result, if I do say so myself. They are actually very reminiscent of the consistency and texture of the Blackberry Pie Bars that I made back at the beginning of summer. You could toss that crust under this recipe and be even closer to a true pie bar!
I started my search for this recipe by looking for pumpkin blondie recipes – I wanted something that had the seem feel and texture of a brownie, and not cakey or something like a cookie bar, so I wanted to eliminate any baking soda or baking powder. My search turned up empty. So I set out on my own creation. I took a few of my favorite brownie recipes and compared the ratios of flour to eggs and chocolate, knowing that the pumpkin would account for some of the eggs and chocolate in terms of liquid in the recipe. And this is what I came up with. It’s definitely not cakey, nor does it have that fudgy texture that most brownies have, but rather they really do taste like pumpkin pie!
And, on a side note, I finally broke down and bought a bag of candy corn. I try to not even have a bag in the house because I can’t stop eating it! I must be doing a good job at eating a pretty clean diet because only a few pieces of candy corn and I was more than ready to be done. Success!
Enjoy the pumpkin bars! :)
Pumpkin Pie Bars
2 cups all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, melted
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
For the top:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Add the pumpkin and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently stir or fold the flour into the pumpkin mixture until just combined.
4. Scraped the batter into the pan and smooth the top. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon, and then sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center has just a few moist crumbs on it. Cool completely and then, using the parchment as handles, lift out of the pan and cut into 24 squares. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.