Pump Up Your Pumpkin

Do you love pumpkin, but are sick of bringing the same old pumpkin pie to your Thanksgiving celebration? Well, I have just recipe for you. It’s full of fall flavor, can be made ahead and still gives you all of that pumpkiny comfort that a traditional pumpkin pie would. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

1 1/3 C flour

3/4 C granulated sugar, divided

1/2 C light brown sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 C oats, uncooked

1/2 chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

1 pkg. of cream cheese (8oz.), softened – can be reduced fat

3 eggs

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin

1 T pumpkin pie spice

 

For crumb topping (mix together in a small bowl and set aside):

1/3 C flour

1/4 C butter, softened

1/3 C oats

1/4 C light brown sugar

1/4 C chopped pecan or walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the back of a 13×9 inch pan with foil with ends of foil extending over sides and spray with cooking spray (I actually turn the pan over and fold the foil over the back of the pan to make sure the foil is the correct size and then flip the pan over and insert the foil right in!) This step will make lifting them out of the pan a cinch once baked.

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Mix flour, brown sugar, 1/4 C sugar and softened butter in a medium bowl until blended. I find it best to use your hands, however they will be super messy! Mix in oats and nuts (if desired). Press oat mixture onto bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 min. 

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Beat softened cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice with a mixer until well blended. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with crumb topping.

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Bake for 25 min at 350.  Cool on a wire rack in pan.  Once completely cooled,  pull the sides of the foil to release the pumpkin pie bars from the pan and cut into squares.

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