Friday, October 16, 2009

Butternut Squash Walnut Bars

Well, actually, they are supposed to be Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bars, but I didn't feel like running to the grocery store, (as I often don't) so I made some substitutions with what was on hand.

I was just kind of checking out some stuff online, and someone was mentioning that they were making some Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bars. So I googled the recipe. What struck me first about the recipe was that it contained sweetened condensed milk. Which is great. Because last year around this time, I stocked up on a gagillion cans of sweetened condensed milk because it was on sale. My brain must have been foggy because I believed I was buying the sweetened condensed milk for all the pumpkin pies that I make between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The funny thing is, my pie recipe calls for EVAPORATED milk, not sweetened condensed. So anytime I can chip away at the stack of cans that remind me of my diminished brain function, I am happy to do so. Here's the recipe that I used:,1937,157169-248207,00.html
I substituted roasted butternut squash for the pumpkin and walnuts for the pecans.

I roasted a butternut squash at 350 for about an hour, checking to see if they were tender every once in a while. Then I scraped it to remove the flesh from the skin, gave it a little mash, and let it cool.

In the meantime, I made the crust. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add flour, oats, baking powder and half of the salt. Mix til crumbly. This crust smelled amazing in the mixer. I don't know if it was the brown sugar or if I was just hungry, but it really smelled good.

Now here I was supposed to press all but a half cup of the crust into the bottom of a jelly roll pan, but I don't have a jelly roll pan so I used one of my grandmothers old Wilton sheet cake pans, which is probably older that I am, but still in pristine condition. The sheet cake pan was about and inch longer and an inch wider than the pan called for in the recipe, so my bars are gonna be a little bit thinner than the recipe would normally yield.

Good news, despite the extra area, the crust still gets nice coverage. Bake at 350 for a little less than 20 minutes.

While thats baking, combine squash, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spice, vanilla and remaining salt.

Spread over crust.

Top with reserved crust and a cup of chopped walnuts.

Bake for another 30 minutes.

Here's that they look like cut and cooled. Middle pieces might have made a prettier picture, but I like the crunchy edge pieces personally. Oh hey, the recipe says I was supposed to garnish with powdered sugar. Oops I missed that.

Anyway, these little bar cookies are killer. They taste like a cross between a pumpkin pie and a cookie. They'd be a great substitute for a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.

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