Pumpkin-Chai Bars

Redolent with the spices of fall, these Pumpkin-Chai Bars are a lovely treat at a Thanksgiving tea.

Pumpkin-Chai Bars with Pecan Shortbread Crust
Yield: 35 bars • Preparation: 30 minutes • Bake: 45 minutes • Refrigerate: 4 hours
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. ½ cup toasted pecan halves
  3. ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  4. ½ cup salted butter, softened
  5. 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
  6. 1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  7. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  8. 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  9. 1¼ cups heavy whipping cream
  10. ¼ cup maple syrup
  11. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  12. ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  13. ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  14. ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  15. 1 recipe Vanilla Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
  16. Garnish: ground nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line a 13-x-9-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, letting foil hang over sides of pan to create handles. Line foil with parchment paper; spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine flour, pecans, and ¼ teaspoon salt; pulse until pecans are finely ground. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine butter, ½ cup brown sugar, and ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add flour mixture, beating until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press evenly into bottom of prepared pan, smoothing to create a level surface.
  5. Bake until golden brown, approximately 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, cream, remaining ½ cup brown sugar, maple syrup, remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and nutmeg, stirring to blend. Pour over cooled crust, smoothing to create a level surface.
  7. Bake until set, approximately 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Refrigerate, covered, until cold, approximately 4 hours.
  8. Lift from pan, using foil handles, and place on a cutting surface. Cut into 35 bars.
  9. Place Vanilla Whipped Cream in a piping bag fitted with a small open-star tip (Wilton #32). Pipe in a decorative swirl onto each bar.
  10. Garnish with a sprinkling of ground nutmeg, if desired.
  11. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. • Pumpkin-Chai Bars can be made a day in advance and refrigerated in pan overnight. Cut, pipe Vanilla Whipped Cream onto bars, and garnish with nutmeg (if desired), just before serving.
TeaTime Magazine https://www.teatimemagazine.com/
Vanilla Whipped Cream
Yield: 1½ cups • Preparation: 5 minutes
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Ingredients
  1. ¾ cup cold heavy whipping cream
  2. 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  3. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until thick and creamy. Refrigerate until needed.
TeaTime Magazine https://www.teatimemagazine.com/
 From Afternoon Tea

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