Well, folks, when I’m not making soups, I’m making things with pumpkin :) I am only half-joking here.
I had today off, and decided I wanted to use some of the pumpkin in my pantry (by the way, I totally don’t have a pantry; I have a tiny kitchen with some cabinets and a microwave cart with a shelf, but for whatever reason I have gotten used to saying pantry).
I had seen a recipe for gingerbread pumpkin bars on Peabody’s blog a couple weeks ago (and, though I doubt anyone reads my blog and not hers, I definitely urge you to check it out if you haven’t already. Everything looks SO AMAZING), but it’s originally a Land O’Lakes recipe. It looked so delicious. I’ve made pumpkin “bars” before but they always end up more cakey than bar-y. Not that I don’t love me some pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, but I was looking for something different. These fit the bill.
These are SO good. I halved the recipe and baked this in an 8×8 pan. I didn’t really change the cooking time, since this made the whole thing a little thicker (being that an 8×8 isn’t really half the size of a 10×15). I’m putting the halved version below.
The only thing I would change next time is to add more spices because I tend to like my pumpkin products a little spicier. Otherwise, this was great. I didn’t even make the drizzle for this because I don’t really think it needs it. Plus, let’s face it, I can be pretty lazy and after a day of running around while my bars were cooling, I wasn’t really in a making glaze kinda mood, no matter how simple it is.
Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinamon
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/16 tsp. (I’d up this to 1/8) ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. molasses
3 Tbsp. quick cooking oats (I used old fashioned and pulsed them for a few seconds in my mini processor)
To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar and molasses until creamy. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Reserve 6 Tbsp. of this mixture and place in a small bowl. Scoop the remaining mixture into a 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan lightly coated with nonstick spray.
Add the oats to the reserved mixture and mix until combined – set aside.
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (would probably up this to 1/4)
1/16 tsp. cloves (would up to 1/8)
1 large egg
To make the filling
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves – mix until well combined. Add the egg, mixing just until combined. Scoop the mixture over the uncooked base and evenly spread the mixture over the top. Crumble reserved oat mixture over filling.
Bake until the topping is a golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Drizzle (I didn’t make this)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/8 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. milk
To make the drizzle
In a small bowl, mix together confectioners’ sugar, butter and vanilla. Mix in just enough milk until the mixture will easily flow from a spoon – drizzle over cooled bars.