Monday, 13 October 2014

Pumpkin Bars


I am really using dengue recovery as an excuse to eat, aren't I? I know I will regret this when I step onto the scale. But for now my scale will be lying underneath my chest of drawers doing what it does best - collecting dust. Hah!

After baking Lemon Bars and getting super addicted, I thought why not try another recipe using pumpkin. As it is, I love pumpkin. I reckon if I can get addicted on Lemon Bars, I would probably fall victim to Pumpkin Bars as well. Why am I doing this to myself? I don't know. The dengue virus is really messing up my brain.



Before I can make these Pumpkin Bars, I need pumpkin puree. I don't think I have seen any canned pumpkin puree on our supermarket shelves and even if there is, I would prefer to make my own. I opted for the bake method instead of steaming.


Bake pumpkin on the oven and scoop out the flesh.

It is quite simple. I baked half a pumpkin in the oven for 40 minutes and once it was cool enough to handle (but still warm), I scooped the flesh out and immediately mashed it using a fork. I don't own a food processor or a hand-held blender simply because there are too many gadgets in my kitchen and they are taking up a lot of space. And collecting dust :)



The recipe from Joy of Baking  is made in a 9"x 13" pan and since I only have a 9" x 9" pan, I contemplated scaling the recipe down. But after much thought, I decided to follow the quantities in the recipe except that I scaled down the pumpkin puree and heavy cream slightly and reduced the amount of sugar. I am really glad that my pan accommodated the quantity of the ingredients quite well. In fact, I think I can use the full recipe with no problems. See, the pumpkin bar is really quite flat and thin.



For the Hazelnut Shortbread Crust, instead of using roasted whole raw hazelnuts, I opted for ground hazelnuts which I toasted in a pan until fragrant. Nothing beats starting from scratch as the ground hazelnuts are not as fragrant. Next time, I will invest a bit more time to make my own ground hazelnuts.



I couldn't wait to have a taste as soon as the Pumpkin Bars came out of the oven. But I held my horses and waited for it to cool completely. I learnt from Laura in the Kitchen that to get clean cuts, use a hot knife. So I dipped my knife in hot water like what I usually do to slice cheesecakes.



But I did get lazy and did not dip after every cut. And that resulted in less that perfect slices. But it didn't matter. My first bite was pure ecstasy. Wow! The pumpkin layer was so "lemak" (creamy) and delicious and then you get that buttery nutty taste from the crust. I must really bake these Pumpkin Bars again!











Pumpkin Bars
Recipe source : Adapted from Joy of Baking

Ingredients for Hazelnut Shortbread :
- 65g ground hazelnuts
- 130g all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 113g salted butter, softened
- 2tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method for Hazelnut Shortbread :
1. Toast ground hazelnuts in a pan until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
2. Once cooled, combine the ground hazelnuts with flour and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add vanilla extract and continue to mix.
5. Add flour mixture and continue to beat until a soft dough forms.
6. Press the dough evenly and firmly into a lined 9" baking pan.
7. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the shortbread is set and beginning to brown around the edges.

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Filling :
- 2 large eggs
- 340g pure pumpkin puree (In future I will go for the original 425g)
- 100g light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 250ml heavy cream


Method for Pumpkin Filling :
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs
2. Add pumpkin, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon sugar and salt and whisk to combine.
3. Gradually stir in the cream.
4. Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the filling is set in the center (mine was done at 35 minutes).
5. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
6. Once cooled, lift the pumpkin bars from the pan by holding on to the edges of the baking paper.
7. Place on a cutting board and slice into bars.



Photobucket

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Eileen of Eileen's Diary.

45 comments:

  1. Good morning dearie.. Oh yes, my weighing scale is also "collecting dust" in the wardrobe room.. I bought a cheapo one, only RM15.90, and guess what, after using it for a few times, the scale is now cuckoo-ed !! Belum step on the scale, it is already showing 150kg, OMG !!
    Oohh, pumpkin puree reminds me of G.. I always steam+puree fruits & vegetables for G using my Avent 3-in-1 blender+steamer+puree thingy.. Yummzzz, your pumpkin bars look like pumpkin custard, I don't mind having it all, don't think I'll get fat after that, I'll just have to starve myself for a few days, teehee..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Louiz! You better throw your scale away lah. Belum step sudah 150kg, step sure pengsan hah..hah.... This pumpkin bar filling is just like custard. Really sedap. In fact, if follow your style, no need to slice. Just take a spoon and scoop. I think I can finish the whole tray.

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  2. These pumpkin bars looks extremely yummy with the smooth surface, how I wish I can have one slice to taste it now.

    Thanks again for joining LTU, cheers!

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    Replies
    1. Eileen, if not for your LTU chosen theme, I may never have tried these yummy pumpkin bars. So it is thanks to you too!

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  3. yumm yum....now pumpkin very cheap in the hypermrket. can buy and make this/ Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Mama Kucing, gonna whatsapp you, lol..

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    2. Meow, I never realised that pumpkins are so cheap. Hope that it stays like that :)

      Sharon, lucky I got no whatsapp LOL!

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  4. the top layer is so smooth and bright, attractive!

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  5. I am lazy, recently didn't bake anything...

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    Replies
    1. Sharon, you ah...always like that one LOL!

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  6. Glad you are recovering and enjoying baking.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chris! It means I will get fatter again :(

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  7. Your picture is from the first cut that looked nice huh? :D
    Witness your gradual change, from the start you berate yourself for eating too much, but by the end you have completely crossed over to the dark side and want to bake more :D

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    Replies
    1. RG, the bars in the photos are mixed. Maybe can't see the imperfect cuts :) It looks like I have given in to my dark passenger, to borrow a phrase from Dexter hee..hee..

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  8. This looks absolutely gorgeous!!! My bingka labu did not turn out very well, too sweet. I think I would want to try this sometime, KIV first, wish me luck!

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    Replies
    1. Good luck! Maybe Melissa can help. These pumpkin bars are not to be missed!

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  9. wow, and really no play play, Phong Hong is back!! and back with a vengeance probably from all that she was deprived of when she was having dengue.. good good!! and this gorgeous pumpkin bar certainly proves everything..

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, SK! Yes, I miss baking and cooking. Am very happy that I can indulge in my favourite activities again :)

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  10. at first this pumpkin bar looks like those nyonya kuih to me, haha, maybe because of the pumpkin filling and cannot really see the base clearly.. then i go and see further, the base is actually hazelnut shortbread!! aiyoyo, i see hazelnut and i'm very attracted to it, haha.. so golden pumpkin and aromatic hazelnut, what a combination!! i certainly would like to try this very much!! you can PosExtraLaju to me when you are baking this next time, muahahahaha~~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yah, I suppose the filling is quite similar to nonya kueh. It is so delicious. I think I can finish the whole tray if I did not stop myself. This one cannot Pos Laju. It will end up become mashed pumpkin again when it reaches you hah..hah...

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  11. Hi Phong Hong, so 'gnam' ... coincidentally, I've also bookmarked this Pumpkin Bars recipe from Joy of Baking. But pulled 'hand brake' cos my girl had already 'warned' me 'no more pumpkin over the weekends, pls'. So I switched to bake Biscotti. Hee.. hee ! Your pumpkin bars look so yummy .. the hazelnuts shortbread ... simply perfect with a cup of coffee !

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    Replies
    1. Karen, you must bake these pumpkin bars. I am sure you and your girl and all at home will fall in love with it!

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  12. At a glance, I thought it was Phong Hong Bars! Wow.. I was thinking.. having own signature bars, not bad leh... Your pumpkin bars have me smittened.. but when I read the recipe, I thought to myself.. oh, oh.. this sounds complicated.. surely I cannot do it... I can only drool for now... :p

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    1. Claire, PH bars? ha..ha...wait lah one day I do R&D and come up with my own bars :) Actually this recipe is not complicated at all. The only troublesome part is making the pumpkin puree. The rest, you don't even have to use a mixer. Just a whisk or spatula will do.

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  13. Looks yummy.

    Haiya... must go find some to eat now. LOL

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  14. Hi Phong Hong, Pumpkin is such a versatile ingredient in cooking. Can use so many cooking methods to make any edible food savoury or sweet. How I wish you can share some of these lovely pumpkin bars with me and then need not worry about your waistline. Hehehe!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kimmy! I just love pumpkin and have been buying a lot the past few weeks. Yes, it would be nice to share some of the fattening calories with you ha..ha...

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  15. Weighing scale? What weighing scale? The one I have is for my ingredients and that's that.
    Oh yum...pumpkin heaven season .... I WANT!! I can help you, you know. I can come take away some of those and help you not need to ever use your weighing scales ... um ... maybe I'll need it instead?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Ping! OK, OK, I get the hint. I'll throw away the scale and then send some bakes over to you and you can take over the fats from there hah..hah... Since you too love pumpkins, you go bake these pumpkin bars and fatten yourself up :D

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  16. I love the shiny top of this pumpkin bar. So tempting to try :D

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    1. Hi Ann! I was also impressed by the shiny top. And even more impressed after I took a bite :D

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  17. home made puree is the best! They look so moisty and good!

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    Replies
    1. Ola, the topping is very creamy and delicious. Try it!

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  18. Oh phong hong, yr pumpkin bars look so delicious, I am drooling already hahaha. Wish I live next door to you :)

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    1. Hi Madeline! Oh, you are another one who wants to be my neighbour ha..ha... If you can find the time, do bake these pumpkin bars. You will want to bake a second batch soon after!

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  19. I have not seen these before. Looks really delicious as I like to eat pumpkins. The top part looks like nyonya kuih.

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    Replies
    1. Mun, it does remind me of nonya kueh too. The pumpkin filling is so lemak like those kuih talam toppings.

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  20. This looks amazing! And you made your own pumpkin puree? I totally need to try that soon!

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    Replies
    1. Cathleen, do try this! It will become one of your favourite desserts :)

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  21. Phong Hong, hope you are feeling much better now; you have to be...since you made the most amazing Pumpkin Bars...ever. Totally drooling over the yummy goodness, of the fresh pumpkin puree topping, and the hazelnut crust...oh, my...like 'heaven'! Thanks for sharing...a must make for our Thanksgiving soon! xo

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    Replies
    1. Elisabeth, I am fully recovered now, thank you! It sure feels good to be able to bake and cook again. I am really happy with these pumpkin bars. They are so delicious! I am really hoping that these pumpkin bars will grace your dinner table during Thanksgiving!

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    2. Hi Phong Hong
      Glad to see that you are recovering well, with your baking mojo back in action!
      Your pumpkin bars looks really yummy. You can find canned pumpkin puree from Cold Storage, but of course making your own is definitely much, much cheaper. I usually steam the pumpkin as I find it is faster than baking them in the oven.
      Thanks for sharing your lovely pumpkin bars, wish I could grab a slice right now!

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    3. Hi Joyce! I really love these pumpkin bars but they are really bad for my diet ha..ha.. I will try steaming the pumpkins next time. A faster method is always good.

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