Happy Halloween! I’ve been a little distracted this year and didn’t get around to my usual Halloween decorating. Broom Hilda is still up in the attic. Maybe she’ll make an appearance next year. I have a feeling I should start my Christmas decorating tomorrow or it might not get done either.
At least we do always have festive food though and pumpkin bars are very Halloweeny. Plus they’re Thanksgivingy too! They taste a lot like pumpkin pie, only better. A box of spice cake mix serves double duty in this recipe, in the crust layer and the streusel on top. The pumpkin-cream cheese layer is divine. I love how it tastes cold out of the refrigerator. Some chopped pecans add some nuttiness and crunch. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Bars
- 1 (18.25-oz) box spice cake mix
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup finely chopped white chocolate
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/3 cup uncooked regular oats
- powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a fork. Set 1 cup aside for streusel topping. Press remaining crumbs into a greased 13×9- inch pan.
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until puffy and set. Place pan on a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.
- Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract and beat to blend. Pour filling over cooled baked crust.
- Add white chocolate, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and oats to reserved 1 cup streusel and mix. Sprinkle over filling.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Best served at room temperature or chilled. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
Recipe Source: from an old Southern Living cookbook, I think