Break came and went in the blink of an eye, and the baking of over 500 cookies. No, I kid you not. There is not a hint of exaggeration in that number. I didn’t eat them all, at least. If that counts for anything.
But I digress. I boarded my plane yesterday, to fly from then-sunny Seattle to rainy-California. Out the window? This.
On the plus side, it is still a solid 20 degrees warmer here. So I can step outside without instantly freezing. :)
The last few days were a frenzy of last-minute baking, attempting to use up the open bags of chocolate chips and the butter and the sugar and all those things that will spoil over the probably six months that will elapse before I set foot at home again.
One of these last minute treats was supposed to be a pumpkin pie, for my grandmother who is visiting from Brazil. It may well be her last visit; she’s getting older, and her visits are fewer and farther between. Since she is so enamored of pumpkin pie, I wanted nothing more than to share a homemade one with her.
I had planned to make one for my classy-NYE-dinner party, but I only decided the event was occurring the night before it happened. And the pie needed to be made right then! And I had no pie crust. So I improvised.
And made pumpkin pecan pie squares. They really do taste like pumpkin pie, though the pecan-pie part is a little skimpy (so if you want more of a pecan-pie feel, double the topping, maybe toss in some flour for more of a streusel… get creative!)
My grandma loved them. Unfortunately, I think she still loves the dog more than me.
Not even pumpkin pie could win out over that one.
Pumpkin Pecan Pie Squares
From Very Best Baking
Makes 12 large squares, or 24 decently-sized ones.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned or instant oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup (one 15-oz can) canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix!)
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk (I used fat-free, since that’s what we had)
2 large eggs
2 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Combine flour, oats, brown sugar and butter in small mixer bowl. Beat at low speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until crumbly. Press on bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan (I actually used an 8×11, because that’s what I had… and the portions were still huge!)
Bake for 15 minutes.
Combine granulated sugar, pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs and pumpkin pie spice in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes; pour over crust.
Bake for 20 minutes. Combine pecans and brown sugar in small bowl. Sprinkle pecan topping over filling. Continue baking for 15 to 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Top with whipped cream, if desired.