Pumpkin Pie Bars with Gingersnap Crust

Before having kids and getting married, pumpkins served a single purpose for me. They were meant to be gauged and poked and scraped into some semblance of a Jack’0’Lantern (I’m terrible at carving pumpkins, by the way. Something about the “guts” and the icky sticky feeling. Yuck!).

After that, in my wilder years, they were good for tossing at a random mailbox or two. I kid! I kid!

But ever since marrying a Prince Charming with a serious taste for all things pumpkin pie, I’ve been working on developing my pumpkin taste buds. It’s a slow process for someone who group up on the pecan pie side of the great Thanksgiving pie divide, but I’m getting there. And for what it’s worth, I now believe we can all live happily on BOTH sides of the pie line. More pie! Who doesn’t love more pie?

So for what it’s worth, these didn’t last an entire 24 hours in my house. That’s more of a recommendation than any adjective that I can conjure up. My family ate the whole pan. Fast.

I prefer bars over pies when it comes to the kids. Bars are a little easier to package with foil and slip into a lunch box for a sweet cafeteria surprise. Pies are a little trickier and often end in me up late scrubbing bit of crust and filling from all manner of lunch box nook and cranny. True story!

I traded the usual graham crust I use and broke out the gingersnaps. Wow! Talk about a spicy, exciting difference and no more work than a normal cookie/graham crust.

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 and 1/4 cup smashed gingersnaps
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pumpkin Pie Bars

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (13 1/2 oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

Directions:

For crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter with a fork until crumbly. Press into prepared 8X8 baking dish and bake 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

For filling:

Combine filling ingredients in large bowl and mix by hand until smooth, about two minutes. Pour over hot crust and bake approximately 35 minutes, until center sets. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Happy Funtober!

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