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Pumpkin Shortbread Bars

Active Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 55-65 minutes / Total Time: 85 minutes

Makes 10 servings

Pumpkin Shortbread Bars.JPG

Ingredients:

  • Crust:
    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into chunks
    • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
    • 2 tablespoons raw honey
    • 1 cup almond flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Filling:
    • 1-15 oz. can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
    • 3 eggs
    • ¾ cup coconut sugar, minus 1 tablespoon
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1-12 oz. can organic evaporated milk

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the middle position. Grease a 9x9- inch baking dish with parchment paper, letting the excess parchment hang over the sides of the pan.
  2. Prepare the shortbread crust. Beat together the butter, sugar, and honey with a hand mixer until they are completely combined and resemble creamy frosting.
  3. Add the almond flour and salt to the bowl. Mix with a spoon just until all of the flour is incorporated and the mixture comes together into a dough. The dough will seem fairly crumbly, but should hold together when squished in your hand.
  4. Press the dough into the baking dish. Use the bottom of a spoon to make sure the layer is as compacted as possible and in an even layer. Prick with a fork all over. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the shortbread turn golden-brown. Set aside to cool completely. The inside of the shortbread will still be loose, don't worry it firms up as it cools.
  5. Make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the pumpkin until fully combined.
  6. Add the sugar, syrup, and spices and stir to thoroughly mix.
  7. Use a spoon to stir in the evaporated milk until combined; don’t whisk, or bubbles may form when the bars bake. 
  8. Pour the filling over the cooled shortbread and spread evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or just until the filling looks set in the middle. Again, it may look a bit loose but it sets more as it cools and goes into the fridge.
  9. Let cool completely. Trapped condensation is the enemy of pumpkin filling! Cut into 10 bars*; you will have two left over this week—go make friends!
  10. Loosely cover and refrigerate until needed for desserts on Days 1, 3, 5, and 7.

*You may find it easier to cut these into bars after they’ve been in the refrigerator overnight.