It has begun.
The time of year for all things pumpkin.
I feel like I store up all of my “MAKE PUMPKIN EVERYTHING” feelings until this time of the year. I could live on pumpkin everything year round. BUT I save it all for this special season.
This fall season is different than any other previously.
I’m a new mama and I’ve got a list 30 items long that my baby can’t eat.
This makes baking pretty difficult. I love to bake but finding alternatives to eggs, yeast, and many other baking ingredients has been challenging. Good thing I love a challenge. I also love using ingredients that most people wouldn’t. I’ve been experimenting with alternative flours, sugars, and uncommon household ingredients for years, it’s just now I have no choice but to do so.
What is it they say? You learn the best when you’re immersed into the culture?
Here comes my crash course.
I made this recipe before my daughter got allergy tested. It is SUPER yummy and a great way to start off the fall season.
First things first, the crust for the pumpkin bars. Start off by crushing your chocolate graham crackers. I used appropriately 1 sleeve of graham crackers for this recipe. I used my nifty food processor that my husband got for me. When a man buys you kitchen gadgets, you marry that man.
He purchased mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond but you can get one here without even leaving your house!
You want your graham crackers to resemble bread crumbs. So use the pulse setting on your food processor until you get that consistency.
You’ll want to add your melted butter next. Depending on the brand of graham crackers you use, some are drier than others. So you’ll want to use anywhere from 6-8 tablespoons of melted butter. You’ll know you’ve used the right amount of butter when your crushed graham crackers stick together but don’t feel oily.
Pour your graham cracker mixture into your pan. I used a stoneware pie plate, but you can use a 9×9 pan or an 8×8 pan. I wanted my crust to be thick, so I used a smaller pan.
You can use your hands to pack the crust down.
I used a tart tamper, just to be fancy. It does work really well and I love using mine for loose crusts. It’s also wonderful if you’re making anything layered and need every layer to be nice and even. (Tortes, etc)
Pop your crust in the oven at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.
Next, we want to start making the scrumptious filling.
Take your 12 oz of softened cream cheese and mix it with 1 cup of sugar. Cream together until smooth.
I love cream cheese. It seeps into my soul when I eat it…which isn’t often so it sure is a treat to make this dessert.
Add 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin to your cream cheese mixture. Mix in using an electric mixer. (Lifesaver) I use my hand mixer practically everyday. I love my big stand up Kitchenaid, but my hand held Kitchenaid mixer is THE BOMB. (Hey look, you can have one too just by going here)
If you like it more pumpkin-y than add 1/4 cup more pumpkin. It’ll also make your dessert extra moist!
We will make our little side recipe next. This is your pumpkin spice mixture. I usually make all of my mixes myself. Whether it’s taco seasoning, Italian seasoning, etc. This recipe will give you more than enough for the pumpkin bars. Oh darn, I guess we’ll have to make something ELSE pumpkin flavored.
Mix together 3 tablespoons of cinnamon, 2 teaspoons nutmeg, 2 teaspoons ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons cloves.
Add 2 teaspoons of your pumpkin spice mix to your cream cheese mixture.
Finally, you’ll add the rest of your ingredients. 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 3 tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 2 eggs.
Blend until everything is well incorporated and mixture is smooth.
Pour your batter onto your pre-baked crust. Place in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.
Drizzle with chocolate and nuts for a wonderful added bonus!
Any amazing pumpkin desserts you’d like to share with me?? Comment below!