Sunday, November 07, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Bars

This time of year, I'm constantly on the prowl for new and interesting ways to use pumpkin. Muffins? Been there. Bread? Done that. Cake? I'm ready for something new. These Pumpkin Pie Bars definitely fit that mold. They're lighter and more casual than pie, but have all the flavor and creamy texture that you'd expect from a thick slice. Plus the added bonus of chocolate chips on top.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

I have a confession to make. I've been suffering from writer's block lately. I've been baking and cooking, but when I sit down to write, everything that comes through my fingers onto the page sounds trite and contrived and I wind up deleting it. I'm not sure where this came from. I used to crave sitting down at my computer to blog after making and photographing my latest creation, but that craving is in hiding these days. It's not that I'm uninspired, I just can't find the words.

Fellow writers, how do you overcome writer's block? Maybe I'll start with a pumpkin pie bar.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Adapted from Joy the Baker, originally from Kraft
Printable Recipe

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter or margarine
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a handful of chocolate chips for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; grease foil. Combine flour, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in a medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats.

2. Reserve 1 cup oat mixture; press remaining onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Beat cream cheese (be sure it's well softened), remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla with a mixer until well blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and a handful of chocolate chips.

3. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use foil to transfer dessert from pan to a wire rack; cool completely before cutting.


andi said...

These look absolutely DIVINE!!
A perfect Thanksgiving treat...
Glad you're back, Amy!!

Linda said...

I made pumpkin pie bars this weekend too. But mine are a little different. I'll be posting them later this week. Yours look yummy!

Jeanne said...

Writers block is a tough one for me. Sometimes I try a change of venue (taking my computer to the coffee shop), or making a recipe that's unlike anything I've made before.

It was great to meet you at Foodbuzz fest this weekend!

Jessica said...

Whatever you write, we will read my friend. You are great with words!

I've been known to write whole posts and immediately delete them. It can get frustrating for sure.

lynn said...

wow those look AMAZING!!!! it was wonderful meeting you this weekend, albeit briefly!!!

Renee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renee said...

Love this idea! I'm always looking for fun holiday treats the kids can help me with. Bars are so easy to be messy with.

As for writers block- I've been blogging on food for less than a year but have another blog for almost 4 years. Every so often I find I step back and just reassess things. It's just part of the process. Some questions to think about- Is it the structure of the posts or the content? What do other bloggers do that you like or intrigues you? Are you bored with the routine of it? What inspires you right now? And, another idea- if you have writers block on food- try writing about something else for a bit. Forget about food. Get the writing juices flowing again on a separate subject and hope the juices bubble back over to food.

Katie said...

Oh...YUM! These sound amazing. I love anything and everything related to pumpkin, and when you add chocolate - even better!

Lauren said...

These look absolutely dreamy! I get writer's block every now and then. Sometimes it's because I have too much to say, but don't know where to start or what I want to share. I find what helps is just writing - about anything. The great thing about food blogs is that we don't have to write just about food. It can be what's going on with you, what you love or what is making you smile. That's what makes it so fun.

Dana said...

These look delicious. How do they taste the next day? Are they better fresh or are they ok spending a night in the fridge? Making some for a get together this week. Thanks! :)

Amy I. said...

Thanks all!

@Dana: Thanks for reminding me, I was actually going to update the post to share that I thought they were even better after an overnight rest in the fridge. You can't go wrong either way though. Enjoy!

Natalie said...

so sad i didn't meet you last weekend! these look amazing though--way better than regular pumpkin pie!

Mrs. Puma said...

These look and sound delicious! I'm putting the recipe on my list of pumpkin things to bake this weekend, thanks so much for sharing!

Ellen Bloom said...

Yum! Love the idea of adding the chocolate chips to the pumpkin! Thanks for the recipe.

As far as writer's block goes, I think it helps to just write a little bit everyday. Writing a blog 5 days a week has helped alot. Maybe, branch out a bit in the subject matter in your blog, OR start another blog on a totally different or broader subject than "Playing House." Good luck, Sweetie!

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