Bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177
degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottom
and sides of a lightly
buttered 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan with a 22 inch (56 cm) long piece
of aluminum foil that has been buttered and floured.
Shortbread: Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and
bake for approximately 15 minutes or until brown and fragrant and the skins
are starting to
peel. Remove from oven, place the hot hazelnuts in a clean dish towel, roll it
up, and let
the nuts 'steam' for about five minutes. Then briskly rub the
nuts to remove most of their skins. Set aside to let the nuts cool and then
Place the chopped
hazelnuts, flour, and salt in the bowl of your food processor fitted with a
metal blade. Process the mixture until the hazelnuts are finely ground.
In the bowl of
your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until
light and fluffy (2 - 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour
mixture and beat until a soft dough forms. Press the dough evenly and firmly
onto the bottom of the foil-lined pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the
shortbread is set and beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and
place on a wire rack.
Filling: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the pumpkin, sugar,
vanilla extract, spices, and salt and whisk to combine. Gradually stir in the
cream. Pour the filling over the pre baked crust and bake for about 30 - 35
minutes, or until the filling is set in the center. Remove from oven and place
on a wire rack to cool.
Run a knife around
the inside edges of the pan. Lift the pumpkin
bars from the pan by holding onto the edges of the aluminum foil. Place on a
cutting board, peel back the aluminum foil, and cut into 32 bars. The bars can
be covered and refrigerated up to three days. Serve chilled or at room
Garnish: Whip the
cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Place the whipped cream in a piping
bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe a small rosette of cream on top of each
Makes 32 pumpkin
Rodgers, Rick. Autumn Gatherings. William Morrow.
New York: 2008.