Pumpkin Streusel Bars

…because everything tastes better with streusel.

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This was not actually the recipe I had planned for the week of dorm baking, but I found it and it looked wayyyy better than anything else I had found. Pumpkin season and operation orange are in full swing. I have had a week full of pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash, and this only continued the orange theme. It combines all the best things: a gingersnap crust, pumpkin pie middle layer, and a crunchy streusel on top. I did miss a few weeks of baking, so I definitely needed to make up for it this week… Crunchy on the bottom, velvety pumpkin in the middle, and another sweet crunch on top.

I love pumpkin pie, but I always miss the crumble on top. These bars make up for it–pretty much an apple crisp but with pumpkin instead of apple. And I like pumpkin better than apple anyways.

The recipe is from one of my favorite baking blogs, Sally’s Baking Addiction. I added in a bit more of each spice and I used a little less sugar, but other than that followed the recipe pretty much exactly. I wish the streusel had browned a little bit more and I think that the middle could have still used some more cinnamon and nutmeg.

with pumpkin

Pumpkin Streusel Bars from http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/10/20/pumpkin-streusel-bars/

Gingersnap crust:

1 ¼ cup ground gingersnap cookie crumbs (I used Trader Joe’s triple gingersnaps)

2 tbs sugar

¼ cup melted butter

Pumpkin Filling:

8 oz cream cheese, softened

½ cup sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg, cloves, ginger)

Streusel:

½ cup oats

1/3 cup brown sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ cup flour

¼ cup butter, cold and cubed

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan and combine cookie crumbs, sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Press into baking pan and then bake crust for 10 minutes.
  2. Make the filling by beating cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs one at a time.
  3. Beat in vanilla, pumpkin, vanilla, yogurt, and spices on medium speed. Pour the filling into the crust when it has finished baking.
  4. Mix the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl. Mix in cubes of butter (I always use my hands) until it is crumbly. Cover the filling with the streusel.
  5. Bake for about 40 minutes. If the streusel starts to burn, cover it with aluminum foil so that the center can continue cooking.

Allow to cool and then top with whipped cream or vanilla glaze. Or simply eat plain and warm!

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