Pumpkin Pie Bars
(adapted from Joy the Baker)
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons bourbon (optional)
a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips for sprinkling on top (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; grease the foil. Mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar in a medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the oats and nuts.
Reserve one cup of the oat mixture. Press the remaining onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake 15 mins.
Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, vanilla, bourbon, pumpkin puree, and spice with a mixer until well blended. Pour over crust.
Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and a handful of butterscotch or chocolate chips (if desired).
Bake 25 minutes, cool 10 minutes. Use the foil to transfer the dessert from the pan to the wire rack. Let the bars cool completely.