Pumpkin Pie Streusel Bars


This year instead of making pumpkin pie I decided to make something new that was more exciting and visually interesting. Pumpkin Pie Streusel Bars take pumpkin pie to a whole new level. Each bar has a shortbread crust that doesn’t get soggy, pumpkin pie filling just like you would find in your standard pumpkin pie, and a streusel topping with toasted pecans. For fun, I decorated the bars with whipping cream and Pumpkin Mellow Crème candies. 

I like that the crust and streusel topping are made with a food processor. It cuts the preparation time for both in half. Of course, you can always cut butter in with a pastry blender.

Pumpkin Pie Streusel Bars

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8 X 8-inch square pan with non-stick foil and line bottom with parchment paper. To do this: Wrap foil around the bottom of baking pan conforming foil to the bottom’s shape (around bottom and up the sides of the pan, leaving sides long enough to be used as handles). Remove foil  from bottom of pan, then place foil inside pan and reshape. (If you don’t line the pan with non-stick foil, the streusel will glue itself to the sides of the pan.) Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Place parchment on top of foil ion bottom of pan (this keeps it from sticking to the bottom of the pan). 

Shortbread Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1 large egg

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add flour, sugar, baking powder and kosher salt. Pulse several times to combine. Add cold butter pieces, egg, and pulse until mixture looks like sand. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Compress crust using the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake 15 to 18  minutes. Crust will puff up a little bit, deflate, and then become light golden brown. Remove from oven to cool while you make the streusel topping and pumpkin filling. 

Streusel Topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted in 350ºF oven for 3-5 minutes

in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add flour, sugar, and brown sugar. Pulse several times to combine. Add cold butter pieces and pulse until mixture looks like sand. Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in pecan pieces by hand. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Pumpkin Filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

In a bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon together. Stir in pumpkin, milk, and vanilla. Add egg last. Pour pumpkin filling on top of cooled crust and spread evenly. Pour streusel over pumpkin filling and spread evenly. Bake at 350ºF for 40 minutes. If streusel appears wet don’t worry. It will harden as it cools. To serve: top with whipped cream and Pumpkin Mellow Creme candies. Tip: Pumpkin Pie spice can be used in place of the cinnamon in the pumpkin filling. Reduce amount to 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Bars can be made 1 day in advance. Decorate just before serving. Place Pumpkin Mellow Creme candies on top of  whipping cream at the last minute. The candies orange color will bleed onto the whipping cream if left too long. Makes 9 servings.

Published in The News and Neighbor on November 18, 2020.


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