pumpkin gingersnap magic bars

this fall in particular feels like an odd transition time for me. my rhythm changes every day. sometimes i’m up bright and early and enjoying every deep inhale of chilled air, raring to attack the little stack of tasks i’ve piled up; other days i move like syrup.

with some time, i’ve found the secret to the center of myself is to get back in the kitchen. to find a quiet afternoon and an empty house, kick up some tunes, and create a rhythm. flick on the oven, clunk out the biggest pan from the bottom of the cupboard. chop, sprinkle; drizzle, stir, scatter. shimmy that pan into the heat and wait for it to bubble and brown and fill this whole place up with scents of anticipation.

this recipe is perfect for aforementioned kitchen therapy, and even more perfect for fall: extra moist from the pumpkin, chewy from the shredded coconut, and a fantastic clash of spice-y, sweet, and deep dark chocolatey. i left the kitchen feeling like a champ… and smelling even better.

 

Pumpkin Gingersnap Magic Bars
Adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and Bakers Royale

4 cups gingersnap crumbs
 {I bought a 14 oz. tub of Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Snaps and crushed them in a bag using a rolling pin}
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

14oz. sweetened condensed milk

¾ cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. cloves, optional
1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut

1 ½ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 ½ cups chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Generously coat a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine gingersnap crumbs and butter in pan and combine until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press mixture onto bottom of pan, using the flat bottom of a dry measuring cup to flatten evenly.
  3. Sprinkle coconut evenly over crust, followed by chocolate chips.
  4. Combine sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl, and stir until well combined. Pour mixture over coconut and chocolate chips.
  5. Finish by sprinkling walnuts on top.
  6. Place assembled pan in the oven and bake for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the coconut around the edge is deeply toasted and nuts are golden brown. Let cool in pan completely and then transfer finished pan to the refrigerator to chill before cutting.
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