Pumpkin Love

Pumpkin Love

Most Texans are excited for fall because of the drop in temperature, count me in too, but there are a few other things that get me excited for fall, like pumpkin. I love to go to my local Starbucks for a PSL (pumpkin spiced latte), pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and pumpkin french toast for brunch. No, scratch that every brunch! Honestly, I didn’t grow up on pumpkin anything, we were a sweet potato household but about five years ago I started taking cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma, and tried these Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Bars. And fell in love! I’ve been hooked to pumpkin every since, so I thought why not share one of my favorite recipes with you.

Ingredients:
For the crust:

1 package (1 lb. 2 oz./509 g) spiced pecan pumpkin quick bread mix
1 egg
8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling: 
1 package (8 oz./250g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 jar (13.5 oz./382 g) Muirhead pecan pumpkin butter
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
15 oz. (470 g) confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 13-by-9-inch (33-by-23-cm) baking pan.

To make the crust, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the quick bread mix, egg and melted butter and beat on low speed until ingredients come together 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Press the crust down until it feels compact (using the back of a measuring cup can help). 

Wash and dry the mixer bowl and beater.

To make the filling, in the mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese and pumpkin butter and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, vanilla, melted butter and cinnamon, and beat until combined, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat well about 2 minutes.

Spread the filling over the crust. Transfer to the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Do not overbake; the center should still be a little gooey. To test for doneness, gently shake the pan; you should see a slight jiggle in the center. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for at least 20 minutes, then cut into bars. Makes 16 bars.

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