Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pumpkin Shortbread Bars

Ok, I'm going to do this.
I'm going to climb out of my rut and make this happen.

If you haven't noticed (*sniff), I've sorta lost my blog posting groove since last summer. I can't think of any particular reason except that life happens. And when life happens in a big way, you make take out your friend.
Take out and sweets.
Sugary, buttery, fattening sweets.

Oh, and coffee (but that's another subject for another day!)

Anyways, I'm going to try to at least do weekly postings again. 

My energetic 2 year old might be an obstacle to this goal, however I will prevail!
I think.
I hope.
Don't hate me if I don't.

These pumpkin bars are going to fuel me. They're sort of like a cross between pumpkin pie and a butter tart. Um... does that sound a-ma-zing or what?

If you're like me and you stock piled pumpkin puree at the end of the fall, make these.
Your cupboards and mouth will thank you.

Pumpkin Shortbread Bars
Makes: about 16
Source: Slightly adapted from Lauren's Latest

For the Crust:
1¼ cups all purpose flour
4 tbsps white sugar
½ softened butter
dash of salt
½ tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:
1¾ cups pumpkin puree
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ cup all purpose flour

For the topping:
¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup toasted pecans
¼ prepared caramel sauce (I used Smucker's ice cream topping)

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8 x 8 square dish with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl combine all the crust ingredients until moist. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. 
2. In a different bowl, stir together filling ingredients until smooth. Pour over shortbread crust and smooth the top. 
3. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and nuts over the top. Press gently into the filling. Drizzle caramel sauce over top of the entire pan.
4. Bake 45 - 60 minutes or until pumpkin filling is firm. Cool completely. Cut into 16 equal squares. (Can be served warm or cold.)

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