Fall is around the corner. While I mourn the loss of summer, there is something about fall that really warms my heart. One of my absolute favorite treats are these deep dish pumpkin pie bars. The basis of the recipe came from the Eagle Brand Cookbook, but I made some changes that I feel definitely improve upon it!
After my little sister graduated college, she came to live with me for a few months. She made plans with some of her friends to go camping in Vermont for a week. Being the oldest, a bit doting, and totally old fashioned for my age, I packed her a large vintage metal tartan picnic basket with sandwiches, cookies, and these wonderful bars. While at the time my sister found my gesture to be somewhat lame and embarrassing, she credits it for encouraging her to learn how to cook and bake herself.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cup cold butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
2 cup chopped nuts
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (2 cups)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, combine flour and sugars; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Reserving 1 1/2 cup crumb mixture, press remainder firmly on bottom and halfway up sides of greased 13x9-inch baking dish.
In large bowl, combine pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt and vanilla; mix well. Pour into prepared dish. Top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 55 minutes or until golden. Cool. Serve with ice cream if desired. Store leftover covered in refrigerator.