Monday, November 12, 2012

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bars with Vanilla Bourbon Whipped Cream

I'm going to go ahead and admit that this dessert is absolutely, positively over the top.

But let me explain.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner...10 days away to be exact.  And that means that my feast planning is in full swing.  Every single one of you (except for my mother) would question my sanity if you were to see the lists I've made.  There are different sections, arrows everywhere, things crossed out, random get the picture.  It looks like a little crazy bomb went off in my planner.  Crazy or not...I love that list.  It gets me all excited for the holidays and for the days of cooking that are about to begin.

But there's a problem. When I get to the "dessert" portion of the list I always run into a dilemma.  There are so many options.  So many staples.  So many things I think just have to be on the Thanksgiving dinner table.  But...our Thanksgiving dinner table is quite small these days.  Meaning that the number of desserts I deem necessary isn't exactly proportionate to the number of mouths there are to feed.  And never mind the full bellies that aren't willing to consume anymore food.

So...this year I decided to do a little consolidating.

In my opinion...Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie are two absolute must haves.  But two pies is a lot of dessert for 6 people.  And having two whole pies really stifles the making of any other dessert.  And I don't like being limited.  So, I thought why not combine the two necessities into delectable little bars, that can be cut into smaller than a slice of pie portions, creating more room in the belly and on the table for other desserts?  It's genius really.  Why didn't I think of this before?

Like I said before...this dessert is a little over the top.  But hey, it's Thanksgiving!  You're supposed to feast, right?  I'll be honest, I wasn't entirely sure that this layering thing would work out.  I was worried that the pecans would sink to the bottom and create some sort of weird texture thing.  But that didn't happen.  And these bars are everything you would hope for when combining two already scrumptious pies.  Top it off with a little bit of homemade bourbon vanilla whipped cream?  Oh my.  Prepare yourself.

P.S. Don't be concerned with the ingredient looks long and scary...but it's not.  You probably have most things sitting on your shelf already!

Makes: one 9x13 inch pan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

-for the crust
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
-for the pumpkin layer
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
-for the pecan layer
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
-for the bourbon vanilla whipped cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with foil leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.  Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, oats, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt until well combined.  Press firmly into the bottom of the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  3. While the crust is baking, prepare the pumpkin filling.  Combine all ingredients for the pumpkin filling in a small bowl (preferably the one you used for the crust to create less dishes!) and mix until everything is smooth and well combined.
  4. Remove crust from oven and pour pumpkin filling evenly over golden crust.  Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. While the pumpkin layer is baking, prepare the pecan layer by combining 1 stick melted butter, 3/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/3 cup honey, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, and 2 cups chopped pecans.  Once the pumpkin layer is somewhat set (but still a bit jiggly) remove pan from oven and top pumpkin layer with pecan layer.  Return to the oven and bake another 20-25 minutes until completely set.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  7. In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat heavy cream until soft peaks begin to form.  Add sugar and beat until hard peaks form.  Fold in bourbon and the insides of one vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon extract.
  8. Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Brendan and Kaston are trying to show you all how delicious this dessert is...unfortunately they just look like they are drooling all over it.  I think they need to work on their "deliciously satisfied" faces.


  1. It looks DECADENT, but you are right, it's holiday and we should indulge ourselves a bit!

  2. Wow! These do look very decadent...but seriously devine! I am a huge fan of pecan pies and actually my favorite way to spice them up is with a little bourbon. These will have to make an appearance next week!

    1. They are so yummy Morgan! Let me know how they go over :) Hopefully they get gobbled up! Enjoy your holiday!

  3. *hah* Love those last two photos!!!! So funny! :)

    These pumpkin pecan bars look amazing! I'm honestly considering having a second Thanksgiving dinner, just so I can make all of the amazing stuff my fav bloggers are posting. Canadian Thanksgiving was a month ago. I think it's due time I start celebrating the American Thanksgiving too! *hehe*

    1. Absolutely nothing wrong with that! And a food blogger I think it's your duty to celebrate ALL food centric holidays :)

  4. these look so delicious! i found you through bostinno today as one of my recipes was featured there too :) i'm now following your blog!

  5. This place is full of beautiful people, especially the staff New Orleans Bar & grill.


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