These Pumpkin Spice Cookie Bars are a crowd-pleasing fall treat that you can whip up in no time!
The last time I went to Second Cup (a Canadian coffee shop) I tried something called a Magic Cookie Bar. Have you heard of these? Apparently, they are a popular treat made with graham, condensed milk, chocolate chips, nuts and coconut. The treat was created by Eagle Brand in the 1960’s, and was formerly known as the “Hello Dolly”.
I think I must be the last person in North America to discover these cookie bars. There are entire boards on Pinterest dedicated to variations of this recipe! I can see why they are so popular though. These super sweet bars are incredibly easy to make. I know that sometimes I say, “this recipe is easy”, and people look at it and think… yeah, sure. But trust me, this recipe is as straight-forward as they get.
My dad needed to take some treats into work for a bake sale this week, so we made pumpkin spice cookie bars.
I thought it would be nice to add some festive pumpkin flavour to the original Eagle Brand recipe. So, we stirred in some pumpkin pie filling into the condensed milk, and added just a touch of pumpkin spice to the graham base. After that, all we had to do was assemble the layers and bake-off a few trays.
The results were delicious! These bars are less sweet than the original, but they aren’t overpowered by the pumpkin and pumpkin spice.
By the way, you know there’s no pumpkin in pumpkin spice, right? I’ve seen a slew of articles lately on the topic, and apparently people are really surprised by that fact. It’s like pickling spice… there’s no pickle in it.
I will say, though, that I was kind of surprised to learn that there is no pumpkin in pumpkin pie. Well, not if you’re using the canned stuff.
Apparently, classic orange pumpkins are not great for baking, so many companies use a type of squash instead. I am partial to the E.D. Smith brand pumpkin pie filling, which I suspect is made with Dickinson Pumpkin. At least, that’s what’s in their Pure Pumpkin puree… anyhow, Dickinson pumpkins look kind of like a traditional pumpkin, so I’m choosing to believe I have actual pumpkin in my pumpkin pies. And pumpkin pie crepes. And in these pumpkin spice cookie bars.
If you try making these pumpkin spice cookie bars, let me know how they turn out for you!
Pumpkin Spice Cookie Bars
- Preheat oven to 350ºF if using a metal baking pan, or 325ºF (160ºC) if using a glass dish.
- Line a 13 x 9" (3.5 L) baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough excess paper on the sides to use as handles.
- In a bowl, combine graham crumbs with pumpkin spice and butter. Stir until the mixture looks like wet sand.
- Press the mixture evenly onto the parchment-lined baking pan with a spatula.
- In another bowl, combine the condensed milk with the pumpkin pie filling. Then pour the mixture evenly over crumb crust. Tilt the pan to get an even coating.
- Randomly sprinkle pecans, chocolate chips and coconut over the condensed milk layer, then press the toppings down firmly with the flat side of a spatula.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Set the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool thoroughly.
- Use the parchment paper "handles" to lift the cookie out of the pan, and place it on a cutting board. Cut into bars and store loosely covered at room temperature.
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Recipe adapted from: www.eaglebrand.ca/recipes