Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. There’s something about a warm, bustling kitchen full of people cooking that just fills my heart right up. It feels so easy to be grateful this time of year.
We tend to stick to the same old menu for Thanksgiving most years, with a few tweaks here and there, and occasionally a new side dish. Last year I just suggested changing things up and all three of my girls were in tears at the thought of doing anything besides cooking our traditional Turkey dinner. I guess the traditions are sticking.
So, I offer these Pumpkin Pie Bars, not as a substitute for pumpkin pie, but as a very delicious seasonal treat. Of course, if pumpkin pie intimidates you, or you always buy the pie because you don’t want to deal with the crust, please consider these Pumpkin Pie Bars as a simpler, but incredibly delicious option.
These Pumpkin Pie Bars have been dessert more than once in the past week. They taste like a pumpkin pie and are pretty, not unlike a pie, but they are a fraction of the work. They satisfy my seasonal pumpkin cravings and sweet tooth demands in a snap.
Pumpkin PIE Bars
There are a lot of recipes out there for Pumpkin Bars, but those are very different than this recipe. Those Pumpkin Bars are like cake bars with a cream cheese frosting. They’re good, but they’re not like this.
These Pumpkin Pie Bars are called “Pie Bars” for a reason. They’re not like cake at all. They’re more like a pumpkin pie.
The crust is like shortbread, with a little bit of pecan crunch in there. The filling is very similar to the custard-like texture of a pumpkin pie, but a little bit thicker. They’re topped with a buttery, pecan crumble. They taste very similar to a pumpkin pie and have a very similar flavor.
But as good as a slice of pumpkin pie is, what I really enjoy about these Pumpkin Pie Bars is the crunch. Unlike a pumpkin pie, the shortbread crust on these bars doesn’t get soggy at all. Plus, with chopped pecans sprinkled on top and in the crust, every bite has a little bit of delicious crunch. I love that!
These are also easier than pumpkin pie – no finicky pie crust to deal with. I still like my pie, but there’s definitely a time and place for a quick and easy Pumpkin Pie Bar!
This has been a fall favorite at our house for years now! I’m so excited for you to enjoy it too. Happy Pumpkin Season.
- 1⅓ cup unbleached white flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 8oz cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a food processor, combine crust ingredients and pulse two or three times until mixture is crumbly. Reserve ⅔ cup of the mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture evenly into the bottom of an 8×11 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, combine filling ingredients. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, blend until mixture is smooth. Pour mixture over baked crust. Sprinkle with remaining crust topping.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until firm when shaken gently.
- Cool completely before cutting.