Today’s recipe involves pumpkin…it is the beginning of Fall and today is Thanksgiving and it is all about the pumpkin pie. If, like me, your not a pumpkin pie lover but do enjoy pumpkin muffins and other delights made with flavourful pumpkin, then these bars will be a hit. No mixer, basically one bowl and a spoon, delicious moist bars after 10 minutes of prep and about 30 minutes of baking, what’s not to LOVE!!
The recipe calls for baking the bars for 40 minutes but I would definitely reduce the baking time. I baked mine for 30 minutes and they were done. I’d set your timer for 25 minutes and then judge the remaining baking time from there.
Joy the Baker shared her recipe Pumpkin Bars with Marcona Almonds in the Better Homes and Gardens Recipes of the Season Magazine and it is super quick and easy. Since I didn’t have any Marcona almonds at home but did have a supply of Macadamia nuts I wanted to use up I substituted them for the almonds. The bars were winners at the dinner table last night.
What is a Marcona almond?! Marcona’s are known as the “Queen of Almonds” and you can often find them soon in grocery stores as they stockpile items for the Christmas season. They are grown and imported from Spain not California. They are a slightly softer almond with a sweeter taste and are delicious. Especially the salted variety.
Pumpkin Bars with Marcona Almonds
Preheat oven to 350F. Line and grease a 9-inch square pan and set aside.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used salted)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups roasted and salted Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped
In a medium bowl stir together butter and sugar until no lumps remain. Stir in egg and vanilla. Stir in pumpkin. Add flour, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger,salt, allspice and nutmeg; stir until combined and no traces of flour remain. Fold in half the almonds.
Spoon into prepared pan, spreading to edges. Top with remaining almonds.
Bake about 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
Cool completely and cut into bars.
If desired, serve with sweetened whipped cream and drizzle with maple syrup.