pumpkin pie bars

November 15, 2012

in Bars & Bites

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is one week away! For many of you, the next week will be filled with a flurry of activity, so here’s a one-bowl recipe to simplify your life. I like to think of these bars as portable pumpkin pie: the crust is reminiscent of an oatmeal cookie and the filling is classic pumpkin; pumpkin spice kisses make a fun and festive topping. For more Thanksgiving inspiration, see 15 Stress-Less Sides from my friend Priscilla at She’s Cookin’ – a round-up of easy side dishes, including my pumpkin spice biscuits, a must for your menu.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m sharing one of my favorite quotes:

“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.”

For me, it’s a reminder to stop and reflect on the many blessings in my life. This year, I’m especially thankful for God’s faithfulness, the love and encouragement of my family, and this space – a place to dream and create and share recipes with all of you, my friends. What are you thankful for?

Pumpkin Pie Bars
Oatmeal Crust
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pumpkin Filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 Tbsp low-fat milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pure pumpkin
30 Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses, halved

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter, egg, and vanilla with a pastry cutter until dough is moist and crumbly. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish and bake for 12 minutes, until crust edges are lightly golden. Cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, yogurt, milk, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pumpkin, and stir with a whisk until smooth. Pour pumpkin filling over cooled crust, smoothing with an offset spatula. Top with pumpkin spice kisses and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until filling is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

When ready to serve, lift up the ends of the parchment and transfer the bars to a cutting board; cut into squares using a sharp knife. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 day.

*Make your own pumpkin pie spice: mix 1/4 cup cinnamon with one tablespoon each of ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Store extra in an airtight container.

Yield – 20 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 155
Carbs – 23

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1 The Café Sucré Farine November 15, 2012

Laura, these are delightful! What a fun, creative idea!
Yes, you are so right, we all have so much to be thankful for! I’m thankful for family, friends and the senses God’s given us to appreciate his beautiful world, taste, touch, feel etc. Most of all, I’m thankful for John 3:16 – For God so loved the world ……….. It just makes life totally worth living!


2 Valerie November 15, 2012

I love pies that are made into bar form! They’re somehow more whimsical and fun to eat. :) Great idea to garnish with pumpkin Kisses!


3 Averie @ Averie Cooks November 15, 2012

This looks so much easier and tastier than pumpkin pie! The oatmeal cookie crust is a perfect idea!


4 Rachelle S. November 15, 2012

I promised the bf pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but I think he could be convinced to let me make this instead. It’s just so much cuter! I’ve never seen pumpkin spice kisses before. Are they just white chocolate with food coloring, cinnamon and nutmeg?


5 Tutti Dolci November 17, 2012

Hi Rachelle, you can find the pumpkin spice kisses at Target. I think they are white chocolate coated with a layer of pumpkin spice! :)


6 claire @ the realistic nutritionist November 15, 2012

These are PERFECT for the holidays! I would bring them to the holidays but i’m pretty sure I’d eat them all.


7 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet November 15, 2012

These sound even better then the classic pie. Love the crust idea! Yum!


8 Patty November 15, 2012

Beautiful post Laura, your bars are lovely and perfect for the holidays..you’re so right about remembering to be thankful, in this world it’s easy to focus on all the negativity but even a little bit of thankfulness goes a long way;-)


9 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious November 15, 2012

Oh my goodness – this is amazing! I could definitely serve this on Thanksgiving day (I haven’t even finished my menu yet! Eek!). I love that you added kisses on top too! I think the kids would just pick them off but then again I could always eat their serving of bars! :)


10 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com November 15, 2012

I need a few slices, Fedex please? :)

I’m thankful for every little thing we have in our life. There’s so much that other’s are deprived of. Negate negative thoughts and be thankful with positiveness!


11 Cassie | Bake Your Day November 15, 2012

These are gorgeous, Laura! I must get my hands on some of those Kisses! I love the idea of eating pie with my hands! :)


12 Lizzy (Good Things) November 15, 2012

Laura, these sounds positively delicious!


13 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts November 15, 2012

These bars look wonderful! I love those kisses, I even have a few left :)


14 Deb November 15, 2012

What a tempting pumpkin treat! I’ve been looking for the perfect dessert that screams Thanksgiving and yet is easy to transport, serve and eat. A marvelous recipe!

I am thankful for my family and good health this year, we are truly blessed!


15 Mercedes November 15, 2012

The oatmeal cookie crust sounds fabulous! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is already next week either!


16 Magic of Spice November 15, 2012

“Portable Pumpkin Pie”…love it! These are such a great idea and they look incredible!


17 Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} November 15, 2012

Laura – these bars are simply perfect for the thanksgiving day holiday! I am truly thankful for each day and appreciate each and everyday. Hope that you and your family enjoy this special time of year!!!


18 The Squishy Monster November 15, 2012

These are decadent times two! I see that they’re bars but I don’t know if that would stop me from eating 3…or 4 (maybe more)!


19 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 15, 2012

That’s a great quote and I wholeheartedly agree! I have so much to be thankful for (but I do wish I had a bite of these ;) ).


20 Suzanne November 15, 2012

Hi Laura, these pumpkin pie bars are so cute with the kisses cut in half. I love Thanksgiving and all the things to be thankful for. I am so thankful to have wonderful family and friends who care about me and give me the love I need. I am also so thankful to God and Jesus Christ for everything they have given me because without them I would be nothing!


21 Rosa November 15, 2012

So pretty and tempting! Those are wonderful bars. I wish I could find such candy here…




22 Liz November 16, 2012

What a wonderful quote…perfect for me to reflect on this morning. I bought caramel and peppermint kisses at Target, but I may need to go back and buy the pumpkin spice ones now! What tempting bars, my friend!!!!


23 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective November 16, 2012

What? Hershey’s makes pumpkin kisses? Where have I been!??! So pretty!


24 Jennifer @ Mother Thyme November 16, 2012

There are beautiful, as always! Now I’m on the hunt for these kisses! :)


25 Alyssa (Everyday Maven) November 16, 2012

There is a lot to be thankful for this year – I am making sure that is what we focus on this coming Thanksgiving. This looks great!


26 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction November 16, 2012

These are perfect! Love the sound of an oatmeal cookie crust!


27 Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) November 16, 2012

I have lots of things to be thankful for–family, friends, everything in my life. It’s so easy to forget all the blessings–thanks for the reminder.

Now these bars are simply gorgeous. Brilliant use of the Hershey’s kisses here. Love this!


28 Charles November 16, 2012

Wish we had a thanksgiving-like holiday in Europe :( Would be nice to have an extra reason to feast (on yummy things like this) and be happy in mid-November :(


29 Jennifer @ Delicieux November 16, 2012

While Thanksgiving isn’t something we celebrate here in Australia, I really love the idea of setting aside a day and being thankful for what you have. And I’d certainly be thankful for one of your pumpkin pie bars. They look divine!


30 Ashley - Baker by Nature November 16, 2012

I’m so excited Thanksgiving is so close! I love these pumpkin pie bars – perfect for next weeks big feast!


31 Minnie(@thelady8home) November 16, 2012

Loved the recipe! Loved the quote shared also. So true! :-)


32 Anna @ Hidden Ponies November 16, 2012

A beautiful list of thankfulness – mine is much the same, it has been a blessed, wonderful year! Love these bars – that oatmeal crust would beat pie crust for me any day!


33 Maureen | Orgasmic Chef November 16, 2012

I would love to try the pumpkin kisses. NO such thing all the way down here. It’s summer so pumpkin probably isn’t a big thing this time of year. :)


34 Terra November 17, 2012

What a fun recipe, and love love those candy kisses:-) I still have not tried the Hershey kisses yet, I guess I need to get on that! I love the idea of using of an oatmeal crust, sounds like a great mix of flavors:-) Your quote is beautiful! I hope you have lovely Thanksgiving, Hugs, Terra


35 Jen @ Savory Simple November 17, 2012

I’ve been trying to pick out desserts for next week, I think this might be on the table at our celebration!


36 suzanne Perazzini November 18, 2012

We don’t have Thanksgiving here in New Zealand but I think it’s a great festival. We should all have a day at least once year when we express our thanks for the good things in life. We do tend to forget the positive and dwell on the negative and a celebration like this would help switch this around.


37 Nancy/SpicieFoodie November 18, 2012

Oh Laura these look incredible! I love your quote too and it’s so true. I hope you have a wonderful holiday:)


38 Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers November 18, 2012

Now I know where those pumpkin Hershey chocolates will be used. Thanks again for taking some for me! There’s no Thanksgiving celebration here in Italy but I am always grateful for my family and our continued good health to enjoy life with each other. Cheers Laura!


39 Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking November 18, 2012

I have just a couple of pumpkin spice kisses left, just enough to make an 8×8 pan of these bars for Thanksgiving. They sound so good Laura.

p.s. hope you received my Christmas email


40 Jessica | Portuguese Girl Cooks November 18, 2012

These look so good Laura! I’m wondering why we don’t have those pumpkin kisses in Canada, they are a must, and look like the perfect topping!


41 Lora @cakeduchess November 18, 2012

I’m thankful for special time with my family and my great friends. Love this pumpkin idea (can’t get enough of it!):)


42 Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel November 19, 2012

I’m thankful for those awesome pumpkin spice kisses because they’re DELICIOUS! However, I’m wishing Hershey’s stocked them yearround, amirightttt? These bars look fantastical!


43 Angela @ AnotherBitePlease November 19, 2012

one bowl! I am loving that!…I am thankful for God’s grace and forgiveness….and fun things thankful for this nice weather we’ve been experiencing in the midwest!


44 Liren November 19, 2012

I’m finally catching up from my time away, and it’s so good to see what you have been up to! I am thankful for meeting you this year! One of the blessings of food blogging is meeting wonderful friends, like you!

These bars are too pretty to eat, but I would eat it anyway :)


45 Baker Street November 22, 2012

I want Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses!! And I want it NOW! Haven’t been able to find any here but Oh my – these look unbelievably incredible! :)


46 Juls @ Juls' Kitchen November 22, 2012

this is genius! I chose bars as my birthday cake, and I can just imagine how good they are with pumpkin! Happy Thanksgiving!


47 Nami | Just One Cookbook November 23, 2012

I saw these before on IG (or FB?) and I really love the pumpkin pie in the bars! You can make anything, with any ingredients, and you bake everything look so good too! :)



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