I’m lucky enough to have a lot of Friday’s off. It’s great. I have time to catch up with everything that didn’t get done during the hectic week, spend time with Lily, catch up with bloggy friends, and exercise. And a lot of times, I get the urge to bake!
Yesterday I did just that!
I started off with a recipe I saw on Erica’s blog. It’s been almost a week since I made anything pumpkin (cream cheese, aside), and with Halloween this weekend, it seemed only appropriate.
Pumpkin Pie Bars from The Healthy Junky
Crust and topping:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup chopped pecans
For the filling:
8 oz. light cream cheese, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Lightly grease the foil. Combine the flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl and toss with a fork. Add the pieces of butter to the dry ingredients and cut it in with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the oats and chopped pecans.
Reserve 1 cup of the crust mixture and set aside. Add the remaining crust mixture to the prepared baking pan and press onto the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Bake the crust alone in the oven for 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the filling.
To make the filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and well combined.
Once the crust has been removed from the oven, pour the filling into the pan and smooth over the crust. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture and butterscotch chips, as desired. Bake for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Slice and refrigerate until served. Yield: 15 bars.
Nutrition Information (per bar): 303 calories; 17.2 g. fat; 51 mg. cholesterol; 92 mg. sodium; 33.5 g. carbohydrate; 2.2 g. fiber; 5.4 g. protein
Result: These were excellent, especially when served cold. Very rich and plenty big! There’s absolutely nothing, whatsoever healthy about them…and that is why they are going to work with me on Monday for an in-service I have to do with our staff. I hope they like them! 😀
Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites from How Sweet It Is
2 cups dry rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I chopped mine a bit)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Combine oats, flax, wheat germ, salt, nuts and chocolate chips in a bowl and mix. Use your hands to mix well. Add honey slowly and coat thoroughly. If the granola won’t stick together, add more honey 1 teaspoon at a time.
Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. Scoop granola into muffin tins and press down to fill the well tightly.
Bake for 25 minutes, checking in every 10 minutes to make sure granola isn’t burning. Remove from oven and let cool completely – this is a MUST to ensure the granola sticks together. When cool, gently twist or use a spoon to remove granola from the tins. Yield: 30 bites.
Nutrition Information (per bite): 90 calories; 5.4 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 55 mg. sodium; 9.1 g. carbohydrate; 1.6 g. fiber; 2.8 g. protein
Result: These were really good, but a bit dry. I think I would add a bit more peanut butter next time..2 tablespoons more would probably do the trick. They are so yummy with milk, and the perfect 2-bite treat. Portion control, always a good thing! 😉
I tried making caramel-dipped apple slices for this Halloween weekend, and all of the caramel ended up everywhere BUT on the apple slices. WHAT did I do wrong?! I heated a bag of caramels, dipped the slices, and laid them on parchment. No idea 🙁 Anyone? Bueller?
Sad! But, a successful day in the kitchen, none-the-less. And I will have happy co-workers on Monday…always a good thing!
Question: What are you doing to celebrate Halloween? Are you dressing up? If so, as what?
It’s Saturday! College football day! That means chili and orange hoodies! 😀
Two out of three ain’t bad! Those granola bites look delicious– I remember them from earlier this week on Jess’ blog!
Those bars look delicious! The butterscotch chips sound like a great touch
Not sure what happened with the caramel–bummer though! At least you had more successes than messes though–I bet everyone is going to LOVE those bars!
Those pumpkin bars sound sooo good. I’m loving all these pumpkin creations on blogs! I need to go restock on some pureed pumpkin.
Oh my gosh, those pumpkin bars looked SO good when I saw them on Erica’s blog! And I love the granola bite idea, too. It’d be yummy plopped right in some greek yogurt. 🙂
Yep, I’m dressing up tonight! Original plan was to be a cowgirl, but now it’s shifted to Taylor Swift….but my guess is everyone will still think cowgirl haha!
All of your treats look delicious especially those pumpkin bars!! I love all things pumpkin right now 🙂 Not sure about the costume. I’m very last minute!!
Aren’t those bars amazing. So not good for you though but soooo yummy. That’s a bummer with the apples. Wonder if you needed to add some wax to the caramel. Not sure if that would have worked either.
I’m sure those apples still taste pretty good though!
I’m not dressing up tonight. I’m lazy.
haha, Buehler, I love that.
I was just watching Alton Brown’s Good Eats last night (yes, I love that show) and he said you have to dip it in something before putting on the caramel. I’m not sure what it was, but some sort of waxy coating so the caramel would stick. Maybe look it up on the Food Network, I’m sure the info is there!
The pumpkin pie bars look amazing. i love your fall leaves in the background!! Very nice touch.
Hmmm maybe the apples were to moist? That’s strange. Everything else looks great though!
I think it has to do with the moisture of the apples. You see how some of the caramel stuck to the peel? It was probably dry and had something to hold onto. Either way, they still look great! AND now I have a serious craving for caramel! lol
At least those first two recipes look AMAZING! YUM!
Wowwww I have some baking to do after reading these recipes!!!