I went to Williams-Sonoma yesterday because I had a gift certificate that was burning a hole in my email inbox. I just love browsing their gourmet food & kitchen treats. They had some samples of these delicious pumpkin bars & as soon as I tasted it I knew my pumpkin lovers would LOVE it! I asked for the recipe & they handed me a copy. (Did I mention I love that place!) Only problem was this small jar of pecan pumpkin butter that is required for the recipe is $11! Unreasonable, even with a gift certificate. So, I came right home, googled it, found the list of ingredients & came up with my own pecan pumpkin butter to replicate this delicious recipe. They turned out perfectly & I was right, my pumpkin lovers LOVE it! The vanilla bean ice cream, dusted with cinnamon, drizzled with caramel & sprinkled with chopped pecans put it OVER THE EDGE! YUM!
Pecan Pumpkin Butter (1 batch of this is needed for the pecan pumpkin squares)
1 15 ounce can of 100% pumpkin
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (I toasted mine for 7 minutes at 350 degrees)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1. Heat all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until thickened, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool.
1 package yellow cake mix, straight out of the box, unmixed, set aside one cup
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs (1 for crust, 2 for pumpkin filling)
1 jar of Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter (OR see my recipe for this above)
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide yellow cake mix, placing all but one cup in a mixing bowl. Stir the 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 egg into the cake mix. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.
2. Mix the pumpkin butter with two eggs and milk. Pour over the cake mix.
3. Stir the reserved cup of cake mix with the flour, sugar, softened butter and cinnamon. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of the pumpkin layer.
4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into 2" squares. Serves 24.
P.S. These are best if eaten very fresh. They should not be made more than a day in advance.