Monday, 19 October 2015

Pumpkin Streusel Bars

Have you ever just made a complete mess in the kitchen???  I mean, one mistake after another?  I was just making a simple pumpkin pie, it really should not have been that hard!!!  Yet somehow, I ended up knee deep in pumpkin, mistake after mistake, and would end up using all the mistakes to produce 3 wonderful desserts!  I only wish I was taking pictures!!!!  So my mistakes?  Trying to rush would have been the first, and in my rush I opened a can of condensed milk instead of evaporated, so now I needed to use the condensed milk... enter Pumpkin Streusel Bars.  I found this idea on a lovely blog, and have made it a few times now, it is so good!  It packs great in my kids lunches, is fairly simple to make and quite versatile. I made this a few different ways, and will explain the options in the directions. So, get in your kitchen and whip this up!  You will be glad you did!!

  To make Pumpkin Streusel Bars, you will need:

For Crust:
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, spoon and sweep method
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
For Filling:
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, or low fat sour cream
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk, or dulce de leche
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, preferably freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
For Filling:
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes
  • penuche frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously grease or line a 8x11.5 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
To make the cake base, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy.
 Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth.  Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined.
 Spread batter evenly with an offset spatula in prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
 Meanwhile prepare the filling.  Add yogurt (or sour cream), pumpkin puree and condensed milk (or for a twist, try using dulce de leche!)
using the dulce de leche.  
 mix on medium high speed with the paddle attachment until smooth.
Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
condensed milk... a little lighter in colour  
Add in remaining ingredients and once incorporated, pour over the cake base. Bake in oven for 20 minutes
 For the Streusel, I tried a few cheats on this... one worked well, the other.... not so much!  to make this the traditional way, add the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, as well as the sugar and cut the butter in, either using a pastry blender or simply rub it in the with your hands.  
I had about 1/3 cup of penuche frosting in the fridge, so instead of adding the brown sugar and cutting in the butter, I mixed my frosting into the oats mixture.

 It worked perfectly!  The second time I made this, I tried saving about 1/4 cup of the dulce de leche to mix into the streusel, and while it tasted great, it was impossible to spread nicely over the filling, so I wouldn't advise it!
Once you have sprinkled the streusel on the partially baked pumpkin filling, return to oven and continue baking for 20 more minutes until the center is set and a knife comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for about an hour, then transfer to fridge for a few hours.  Cut into 12 squares and enjoy!

Bon Appetit!!!
Oh and those other mistakes?  I made too much filling for my pie crust, (like, double!) So I added 1/4 cup whole wheat flour and about 1/2 cup of oats and poured it into an 8x8 pan.  It baked up perfectly and was a nice crustless pumpkin pie that my kids loved in their lunches!  Happy endings always rock!!! :)

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