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Pumpkin Streusel Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Instead of pumpkin pie this season, try my pumpkin streusel bars. With a gingersnap crust and brown sugar streusel topping, everyone will want seconds.


Ingredients

Gingersnap Crust*

  • 1 and 1/4 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (use crunchy gingersnap cookies and grind in processor – I prefer Nabisco or Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 2 Tablespoons (23g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted

Pumpkin Filling

  • 8 ounces (225g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (285g) pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • 1/3 cup (80g) plain Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, or sour cream*
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH ground clovesground nutmeg, ground ginger*

Streusel

  • 1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup (70g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • optional: vanilla icing or whipped cream for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. Make the crust: Mix the cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter together in a medium bowl until combined. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. The crust will be thick. Bake the crust for 10 minutes as you prepare the filling.
  3. Turn oven up to 350°F (177°C).
  4. Make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar together in a large bowl on high speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On medium speed, beat the vanilla, pumpkin, yogurt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger in. Continue beating until everything is combined and creamy. Pour the filing into the warm crust. Set aside.
  5. Make the streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over filling.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bars with aluminum foil around the 30 minute mark. The foil prevents the top from getting too brown. The bars are done when the edges are lightly browned and the center is set– this could be slightly before or after the 40 minute mark. Allow to cool in the pan set on a wire rack at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 3 additional hours – or overnight. Lift the foil or parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. I usually cut them into 16 smaller bars, but you can cut them into 12 larger bars.  Drizzle bars with icing or top with whipped cream if desired.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The bars stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can freeze the bars for up to 3 months. Then, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving and glazing.
  2. Crust: A graham cracker crust would be just as tasty as the gingersnap. Try this graham cracker crust recipe.
  3. Yogurt: For the yogurt/sour cream – I always use low fat for these bars; full fat would be just fine. Try to avoid fat free – you can taste the difference.
  4. Spices: Instead of these spices, you can use 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
  5. Double Batch: You can easily double this recipe to feed a crowd! Double the ingredients, pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes in a 9×13 pan, and bake the bars at 325°F (163°C) for roughly 55 minutes, give or take. Keep your eye on them after 45 minutes.
  6. Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction Cookbook Spiced Pumpkin Bars.

Keywords: pumpkin streusel bars