When I woke up this morning, I realized that there are only 11 days left until my favorite holiday! Growing up, my family would always drive up to my grandparents’ house on Thanksgiving day and spend the long weekend with my relatives in Tacoma, WA. However, I’ve spent the last three Thanksgivings in Cleveland because it wasn’t worth it to fly home to Portland just for a few days.
But this year, my suitemates and I are traveling to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with Chanmi and her family. It will be my first time visiting Chicago, and the idea of spending Thanksgiving in a new city is really exciting to me. Plus, I’m really looking forward to getting out of Cleveland for a few days 🙂
Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, but I’ve been on a total pumpkin kick lately. My coffee of choice is pumpkin spice lattes, and I only want pumpkin desserts! I just can’t get enough. When we went out to eat breakfast yesterday morning, I was craving pumpkin pancakes, but at the last minute, (I don’t know why!) I changed my mind and ordered apple cinnamon instead. I was sad that I didn’t get to have more pumpkin, but the apple cinnamon pancakes were really yummy, so it wasn’t too much of a loss 🙂
I even baked TWO pumpkin desserts the other night – the best pumpkin cookies ever, with dried cranberries instead of white chocolate chips, and pumpkin pie bars. Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite pies ever, but I don’t make it too often I hate rolling out pie crusts. These bars are the perfect solution for lazy people like me because they taste just like pumpkin pie, but require so much less effort!
I’m kind of wishing that I didn’t discover this recipe because now I can have a pumpkin pie fix way too easily. I only made a half recipe of these bars in an 8×8 inch pan because I knew having too many of them around would mean bad news for my waistline, but feel free to make the whole recipe if you have more self-control than me 🙂
Pumpkin Pie Bars
Source: adapted from Joy the Baker, originally from Kraft
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cold
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1 8-0z. package cream cheese, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- butterscotch chips, for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 13×9 inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Grease foil.
2. Place flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and walnuts.
3. Reserve 1 cup of oat mixture; press remaining into bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust for 15 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, and pumpkin spice with mixer until smooth. Pour mixture over crust. Sprinkle reserved oat mixture and a handful of butterscotch chips on top.
5. Bake for 25 minutes in preheated oven. Cool 10 min in baking pan, then use foil to transfer bars to wire rack to cool completely.