November 14, 2018

Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Bars

Rich and creamy gingersnap pumpkin pie bars – everything to love about classic pumpkin pie, but so much easier, with a flavorful gingersnap cookie crumb crust, a silky smooth, ginger-spiced pumpkin filling, and perfect for a crowd!

gingersnap pumpkin pie bars via forkknifeswoon.com

These gingersnap pumpkin pie bars are for those of you who thought, wow, last week’s roasted sugar pumpkin pie sounds deeelicious, but also like, a lot of work.

Well, my friends, welcome to everything there is to love about that super creamy and flavorful pumpkin pie, bundled up nicely in nearly foolproof bar form, and ready in less than half the time. They’re the lazy baker’s BFF.

gingersnap pumpkin pie bars via forkknifeswoon.com

We’re once again riffing on my favorite gingersnap pumpkin pie, which sports a chunky gingersnap cookie crumb crust and silky smooth pumpkin filling that’s generously spiced with fresh ginger, warming spices, and complex caramel and brown sugar notes. It’s the perfect way to serve a Thanksgiving crowd, and much easier (and faster) than making a full on pie or tart.

The crust is made with gingersnaps, a pinch of brown sugar, fall spices, and melted butter. It comes together in minutes in a food processor, before being simply pressed into the bottom of a 9×9-inch baking pan. If you’d like a milder flavor, you can also use graham cracker crumbs, but the spiciness and added flavor that the gingersnaps bring is a perfect complement to the richness of the pumpkin filling.

The filling is made with mostly familiar, traditional ingredients, but I have a few simple tricks that elevate classic pumpkin pie from basic to crave-worthy.

gingersnap pumpkin pie bars via forkknifeswoon.com

I like to start by cooking the pumpkin for a few minutes prior to baking with the sugar and spices. This caramelizes the sugars, and releases some of the natural moisture in the pumpkin, yielding a smoother, richer filling. Next up, indulgent sweetened condensed milk, and two eggs plus an extra yoke to keep the pumpkin custard super smooth and ultra creamy. A splash of vanilla rounds out a sweet and spicy filling that is both new and nostalgic at the same time.

The most difficult part of this recipe is waiting for your gingersnap pumpkin pie bars to cool – they really do need several hours to properly set before slicing and serving. But the good news is, you can also make these in advance, which frees up the oven and crosses off one cooking to-do list item early on busy baking days.

Do you have your Thanksgiving dessert menu settled yet? Stay tuned – I’ve got another pie recipe coming for you this weekend!

gingersnap pumpkin pie bars via forkknifeswoon.com

Photos by Laura Kasavan, of the lovely desserts blog Tutti Dolci.

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gingersnap pumpkin pie bars via forkknifeswoon.com

Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Bars

  • Author: Laura Bolton - Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 bars
  • Category: dessert, baking
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: american

Description

Rich and creamy gingersnap pumpkin pie bars – everything to love about classic pumpkin pie, but so much easier, with a flavorful gingersnap cookie crumb crust, a silky smooth, ginger-spiced pumpkin filling, and perfect for a crowd!


Ingredients

for the crust:
12 oz (2-1/2 to 3 cups) gingersnap cookies
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

for the filling:
1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
2/3 cup organic cane sugar
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp fresh ginger paste
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches overhanging on two sides to create a sling. I like to use binder clips to help hold the paper in place.

Make the gingersnap crust: In a food processor, pulse together the gingersnap cookies and brown sugar until you have a coarse crumb. Add the ginger, cinnamon, and salt, and pulse once or twice to combine. Pour in the melted butter and pulse until combined.

Spoon the crumbs into the prepared pan and use your fingers to gently press the mixture into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Follow with the flat bottom of a measuring cup or glass to firmly pack the crust into the pan.

Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the crust is just beginning to set, then remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pumpkin filling: Heat the pumpkin, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and spices in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-heat. When the mixture begins to sputter, cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until smooth and glossy.

Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the condensed milk, whisking until completely combined. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, whisking until completely combined after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Pour the filling over the crust.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the edges of the filling are just starting to set. Turn the oven down to 325℉, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the filling is mostly set (the center will still be slightly jiggly). The filling may bubble and puff up slightly as it cooks – that’s okay, it will settle as it cools.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 2-3 hours until completely set. The pie filling will continue cooking through residual heat. Garnish with fresh whipped cream and serve chilled or at room-temperature. Best eaten the day of, but will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Abigail
    November 19, 2018 at 12:58 am

    I am SO going to make this for our neighborhood Christmas party!
    They are the absolutely perfect nibble for the dessert table.

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    November 16, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    I’m still dreaming of these bars! 🙂