Pumpkin Crumble Bars

I know everyone is saying it, but HOW did we get to the first week of October already!? Well regardless of what 2020 has given (or hasn’t given?) we still have allllllllll the pumpkin treats for the fall (yay!) and this is one for the books (maybe MY book? a cookbook!? We’ll see)!

Out of all the recipes I’ve tested, this one wins the prize for most tested! Lucky for my family and neighbors, none of the testers came out inedible (quite delicious in fact), but with some tweaking I finally found as close as you can get to perfect with this last test. These bars are like the best of a pumpkin pie and a pumpkin crisp all rolled into one blissful fall treat you will want to make over and over again! It’s made in a 9×13 pan which is perfect for a large family or for sharing with friends and neighbors, but you could also halve the recipe for an 8×8 inch square baking pan (but I honestly don’t know why you’d want to ;)) As always, I would love to hear your feedback about these when you make them so leave me some love in the comments!

Pumpkin Crumble Bars (gluten free!)

Crust:
• 1 cup butter (2 sticks) melted
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 2 cups gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Mix)
Pumpkin Filling:
• 1 – 15 oz can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
• 1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
• 2 eggs
• 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Crisp Topping:
• 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
• 1/2 cup gluten free flour
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cold, cut into small pieces
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients until incorporated and a soft dough forms. Don’t overmix.
4. Press the dough into and even layer in the 9×13 pan (I find using my fingers is best for the job)
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes on the middle rack in your oven (the bottom should be very lightly browned)
6. Meanwhile, make the pumpkin filling and crisp topping.
7. Whisk together the pumpkin pie filling ingredients making sure the eggs are very incorporated into the mixture
8. To make the crisp topping, stir together the oats, brown sugar, flour, pecans if using, and cinnamon. Using your fingers, a pastry blender, or a fork, cut the *cold* butter into the mixture until it forms course crumbs. I highly recommend a pastry blender for this but do whatever is easiest for you.
9. When the crust is done baking, pull it out and raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Pour the pumpkin filling onto the baked crust and top it with the crisp topping
11. Bake for 40 minutes
12. Cool completely to room temperature before cutting for a more sturdy crust (sorry!)

Notes:
• It is important the butter in your crisp topping stay cold. If it happens to come to room temperature or you think the heat from your hands may have made it too soft, just pop it in the freezer for a few minutes and it will be fine.
• These bars are best when left to rest after baking to reach room temperature, but if you absolutely must cut into them before then, they are likely to be less sturdy so be ready to serve them with a fork or spoon (and maybe some vanilla ice cream ;))

Please enjoy!

L&L,
Liz

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