Friday, November 14, 2014

Celebrate Birthdays with Toffee Pumpkin Pie Bars

Oscar-Claude Monet (French: November 14,1840 – December 5, 1926) was a founder of the French Impressionist painting movement. Monet's ambition of documenting the French countryside led him to adopt a method of painting the same scene many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. Monet spent most of his career exploring the idea that you can never really see the same thing twice. In a single day, he would often paint the same subject half a dozen times, from slightly different angles and in slightly different light, spending no more than about an hour on each canvas.

From 1883 on Monet lived in Giverny, where he purchased a house and property, and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. In 1899 he began painting the water lilies, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life.
Monet and His Bridge 1905

Astrid Anna Emilia Lindgren November 14, 1907 – January 28, 2002 was a Swedish writer of fiction and screenplays. She is best known for children's book series featuring Pippi Longstocking, Karlsson on-the-Roof and the Six Bullerby Children. As of May 2013, she is the world's 18th most translated author and the third most translated children's books author after H.C.Anderson and the Grimm Brothers.

It's hard to believe that this timeless classic was written 69 years ago in 1945. Pippi Longstocking translations have been published in more than 40 languages, commonly with new illustrations. Reading about the mischievous Pippi's daring adventures has kept generations of readers entertained.  

To celebrate the birthdays of a notable artist and writer I have baked Toffee Pumpkin Pie Bars with a Gingersnap Cookie Crust.
Cook's Notes: A taste of one of these bars will satisfy your craving for a slice of pumpkin pie. Mini bites are perfect for that holiday meal when you may be feeling already stuffed but just want a little something sweet. Just like pumpkin pies these bars are best served the day they are made.
Recipe adapted from BHG.
  • 1 recipe gingersnap cookie crumb crust (recipe follows at end) 
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz.) not pumpkin pie mix
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. regular cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp.ground ginger 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • dash of ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 cups half and half
  • 3/4 cup Heath English Toffee Bits
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 13 x 9 pan with two sheets of foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Press gingersnap cookie crumbs crust evenly and firmly onto the bottom of prepared pan;set aside. 
  • In a large bowl whisk 4 eggs lightly until combined. Add in pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, cloves and salt. Beat until well mixed. Gradually stir in half and half and stir only until combined. Pour filling into crust-lined pan.
  • Mix toffee bits and pecans and spread over pumpkin filling.
  • Bake 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean.
  • Cool pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut bars out of the pan. Cut bars, cover and refrigerate.    
Gingersnap Cookie Crumb Crust
Cooking tip: Use a food processor or blender to make the crumbs. Do 10 cookies at a time breaking them in half.  
  • 2-1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (the hard ones that come in a box)  
  • 2 TB. sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 5 TB. melted butter 
  • In a bowl combine crushed gingersnap cookies, sugar, flour and melted butter. Stir until well combined.


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