haHA! I bet you weren’t expecting a true-to-season pumpkin recipe, based on my passionate denial of seasons in previous pumpkin posts. (Did that on purpose.) Well too bad. I am full of surprises this week. I am also full of pumpkin deliciousness, because I just failed to refrain from eating several of my latest (accidental) creation.
In a way, I’m glad it’s fall now, because I love the flavor of pumpkin and have a reason to use it in recipes more frequently this time of year. I also have an unhealthy love for toasted pumpkin seeds. Seriously, keep them away from me. Wait, I think I see one over there! Hold on, I’ll be right back.
Turns out it wasn’t a pumpkin seed after all. Just lint on the carpet. Damn. Anyway, although I love pumpkin AND pumpkin seeds, something about the ease of obtaining canned pumpkin (and, from what I can tell, no obvious difference in taste from the real thing) makes me tend to favor it over home-baked pumpkin. (I do not feel this way about squash, although I’ve never had canned squash, so maybe I would feel differently once I tried it.) So I use canned pumpkin in this recipe because it’s easy, it doesn’t have any weird preservatives/chemicals/corn syrup in it, and it’s not very expensive. If you want to bake your own pumpkin and use that, feel free to use my empty pumpkin can to measure out the 15oz required for this recipe.
1 stick unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 C brown sugar
4oz (1/2 package) cream cheese
1 can (15oz) pumpkin
1 (cage-free) egg
1 1/2 C flour
*1 tsp cinnamon
*1/2 tsp nutmeg
*1 tsp allspice
*1/2 tsp ginger
~2 C oats
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350F. Cube the butter and mash it into the sugar with your fork in your bowl. Isn’t it handy that every recipe I post starts out this way? You’re welcome. Now butter your 13″x9″ (ideally glass) pan with the wrapper and set aside.
Step 2: Mix in cream cheese and pumpkin. Beat in egg—don’t make a mess, but a little fluffiness never hurt anything, and these guys turn out pretty dense, so whip it up a little.
Step 3: Mix in flour and spices. Taste the dough if you’re not squeamish about the egg. The product of this recipe is not overly sweet, so if you prefer a bit sweeter, add another 1/4C sugar. Don’t worry; we’ll balance it out with extra oats in the next step.
Step 4: About 1/2 cup at a time, mix in oats. After 2C you should have a mixture that’s thick enough that it will be slightly difficult to get it to spread into the pan. If it isn’t or if you’ve added extra sugar, just sprinkle more oats in 1/4C at a time until you’ve got the proper consistency. Spread into the pan as evenly as possible now that you’ve purposely made this task difficult. A spatula helps; if you’re limited to a fork, that will work as well.
Step 5: Cook at 350F for about 30 minutes. The top will look cooked when they’re done, but the inside is supposed to be moist (see picture), so don’t worry if they’re a little springy. Let cool for half an hour before cutting.
Serving suggestion: you should eat them. And share them. Cut about 2″x3″ and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. (I bet they freeze really well.) Craig has enhanced their photogenicity (which is definitely a word) by sprinkling powdered sugar over top of them through a spatula to create a fancy pattern—this will impress guests. They’re pretty good plain as well, and make a nice breakfast-on-the-run type thing.
As always, please do not hesitate to relay suggestions, amendments, or (grammatically correct, if you please) criticisms in the comments, and I will try out your version. Happy Fall!