[Recipe] Christmas Favorites

The wonderful Elsie over at Sweet Baby Cadillac and I correspond by letter- a recent development in our friendship, though plans were in effect to do so long before it actually happened.

In this week’s letter she was kind enough to share a Black Bean Brownie recipe with me and I wanted to respond in kind with my own original recipe: Basil-Oregano Pumpkin Pie Bars; when I did live with my parents and still celebrated their Christmas with them, I made these yearly as my culinary contribution to the festivities. The first time I made them, they were gone in less than a day, even!

As Elsie is Vegan and I am not, however, this recipe is not a Vegan recipe; if you are Vegan you will have to make substitutions to the recipe to account for your dietary restrictions and I cannot account for their taste if those items are changes.

Basil-Oregano Pumpkin Pie Bars

  • ½ cup real butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 ½ cup flour + ¼ cup flour
  • 16 oz canned Pumpkin
  • 1 12oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 tbp Basil”
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Rosemary
  • ½ tsp clove
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions: In a small sauce pan, bring the 1 and ½ cup whole milk to a boil and cut the heat as low as possible as it starts to boil up the pan. Add the Basil, Oregano, and Vanilla, crush the rosemary, and add to the pan. Allow to simmer on (ridiculously) low heat for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally until the milk has reduced to between ½ and 1 cup.

Poor into a pyrex measuring cup with ounce markings on the side, and top off with the evaporated milk until total ounces equals 12. refrigerate for 3 hours. (Congratulations you just learned how to make your own condensed milk).

When ready to make the bars, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat together the flour and sugar, then add 1 egg and beat till light and fluffy. Mix in 1 and ½ cup flour until a dough forms (dough should still be a bit wet and sticky, unlike if you were making regular sugar cookies).

Press dough into the bottom of a glass baking dish and bake at 350 for 10 – 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking, whisk together the other two eggs. Add in 16 ounces of pumpkin puree, with ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup flour, and the rest of the seasoning and mix until well blended. Add in the milk mixture, and stir completely.

Remove the crust from the oven and gently poor the pumpkin mix over it. Bake until done- about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

Since letters between Elsie and I take at least a week to reach one another, this post has been scheduled to appear on this date so as not to ruin the surprise early. Happy Holidays- Whichever ones you celebrate this season!Signature


One thought on “[Recipe] Christmas Favorites

  1. I am going to attempt a veganized version of this for my Thanksgiving Day Meal. As long as all goes well and the replacements do not tamper with the recipe’s validity I will let you know how it went. Forever grateful for our friendship!


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