Thanksgiving doesn’t stop on Thursday. We have an annual extended family gathering on the Friday night after Thanksgiving that’s just as much fun as the big day itself. Usually we bring a dessert (probably because we’re almost always late!) This year, I wanted to make Joy the Baker’s Pumpkin Pie Bars.
The bars have a bottom crust made with butter, flour, oats, and pecans, and this mixture is also used for a crumble topping. The filling is a rich mixture of cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, and spices. The recipe has all the right ingredients so we had high expectations. Sadly, we were disappointed. But don’t they look pretty?
The first problem was that the bars took significantly longer than expected to bake in the oven, and it was really difficult to tell when they were done. The recipe indicates they should be cooked until “the center no longer jiggles.” It’s pretty hard to see the filling underneath the crumble topping, so we ended up using a toothpick to help.
The recipe also indicates that the bars should be chilled prior to cutting, but even after some time in the freezer, the center was still very soft. It was difficult to cut them into nice bars. After more time in the host’s refrigerator, the bars were still messy to eat. I think this recipe would work much better as a regular cheesecake that you enjoy with a fork.
Of course, no one at the party cared that our bars weren’t up to par. There were plenty of great desserts, including another dish of pumpkin bars which were excellent. So I asked which recipe they used. “Shhhh….they’re from a box mix.”