Pumpkin Pecan Bites

Pecan bites_ART_WEB

I wish every morning could start like last Wednesday. The kids were off from school for Veteran’s Day, and I was off from work as well. The day began quietly, slowly. We all rose on our own schedules, and found our way to the living room.

We decided to put on a movie. I made waffles. We tried to FaceTime my mom to wish her happy birthday. We wound our way through the morning, without any rush. And when we were ready, we dressed and headed south for an afternoon adventure.

It was, in a word, relaxed.

I am guilty of not having enough relaxed mornings. It just seems like there’s always something to do and somewhere to be. Practice, meetings, deadlines, buses to catch. Our social calendar always seems filled, and our wish list of things to do grows all the time. But sometimes we need time like that to recharge.

Kids too.

I am grateful for that morning, and for all the laughter and fun of that day. It was just what we all needed.

Speaking of gratitude, that immeasurable feeling of appreciation and thankfulness that we seem to notice more at this time of year, Thanksgiving is coming. Take that day to connect with your loved ones. Show them how grateful you are for them in your life.

But don’t let Thanksgiving be the only time you do.

Thankfulness and gratitude should be something we share all year — not just on the fourth Thursday in November. Our loved ones matter all the time. They deserve our attention, our love, our appreciation. And they need to know how much we care. It’s part of loving with your whole heart.

But do be especially grateful for the ones who prepare your Thanksgiving feast. Even when you keep it simple, and have done it year after year, it’s not an easy or small task. Everything takes time and planning from when to make the cranberry sauce to how to prepare the gravy.

Sitting down together, digging in and enjoying the special day? That makes it all worth it.

Pumpkin-Pecan-Bars

And while you’re at it, share a special new dessert. Traditional pies are wonderful, but sometimes it’s nice to try something different.

This one is for all the pumpkin pie and pecan pie lovers out there — it combines the two in a pie-inspired bar recipe with a buttery cookie crust. These easy and tasty bites are a fabulous addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table.

Pumpkin Pecan Bites
Author: 
Serves: 12 bites
 
Ingredients
Crust:
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
Topping:
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the crust in the bowl of a food processor and process until coarse crumbs form. Pour into an ungreased glass 9x9-inch baking pan and press into a single layer.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. The edges should be slightly golden when you remove it from the oven.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, light brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Beat on medium until smooth. Add the pecans and beat briefly to combine.
  5. Pour the topping over the pre-baked base of the bars. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the topping is set in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into 12 squares.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

NOTE: This recipe was originally published on my food blog Sarah’s Cucina Bella.

Sarah Walker Caron

About Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is senior features editor for the Bangor Daily News, and resident cook. She writes a cooking column, Maine Course, and is also author of "Grains as Mains: Modern Recipes Using Ancient Grains." Her recipes have appeared in the BDN, Betty Crocker publications, Glamour.com and more.