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Pumpkin bars

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Serves 24
Pumpkin bars

Pumpkin filling

1

Lightly whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl. Fold in the brown sugar, then the corn syrup, cream, pumpkin, cinnamon and rum.

Shortbread crust

1

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

2

Combine the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it is the size of peas. Lightly knead the dough until it comes together in a ball. If the dough becomes too soft, place it in the freezer for 5 minutes.

3

Place the dough in a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Lightly flour your hands and press the dough across the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. If the dough softens too much again, place the pan in the freezer for a couple of minutes.

4

Bake the crust until lightly browned, 20 minutes. Remove to a rack; cool.

5

Pour the pumpkin filling into the crust. Bake until the filling is set but still slightly jiggly in the center, 25 minutes. Let cool on a rack, then cut into 24 bars.

At the bakery, the bars have a crust at least one-half-inch thick. In our testing, we found that a thinner crust produced a more delicate bar and one that is not overpoweringly sweet, since the shortbread crust is so rich.

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