Yep, I know. That title is a mouthful. But so are these bars, and I honestly had no idea what to call them. But like anything that it indescribably good, these are a keeper.
If you’ve ever taken a crumb cake and eaten the top off, these bars are for you. Made with pumpkin spice peanut butter (thank you, Jif!), these are so light that they crumble at the slightest touch. It might not make for the neatest edges, but these guys make quite the party in your mouth.
And of course, I had to add in candy corn. Who doesn’t love candy corn? As my friend Dorothy points out, when peanut butter and candy corn are put together, they taste like a Payday bar. And with that pumpkin spice twist, the hint of cinnamon is just…yep. Major win here, guys.
What I’m far less excited about is the prospect of Hurricane Joaquin. It’s barreling toward the east coast, and if it tracks inland, we’re looking at a probability of days with no power. If my blog goes inactive, you’ll know why.
Power outages are really the pits. When I was a kid, we lost power for several hours at a time during bad storms, but never for days. A few years ago, when my youngest was just a baby, we had a brief but intense storm here known as a “derecho” (no idea that was even a thing, trust me) that knocked power out for a week. A week. It was early July, and we sweated it out, trying to keep our kids comfortable and hydrated. It was hard to drive anywhere because the traffic lights were also knocked out. I will forever hate the power company, thanks to that week.
Another winter, snow fell heavily and once again, our power went out for a couple of days. We had no heat, so we had to bundle everyone and get the car out through the unplowed snow to a main road, where we lit out for my brother’s house. I felt like a pioneer woman, and not in a good way.
So you can fully understand that with Joaquin headed our way, I’m once again apprehensive. We’re checking batteries and flashlights, stocking up on nonperishable food and drinks, and preparing to have the children sleep with us. Have I mentioned that our house is in the middle of a forest of tall trees, and that one has actually fallen on the house? It’ll be the basement for us during this storm.
All of this advance worrying is enough to send me hurtling toward the sugar, as usual. It’s the best stress-buster. Wouldn’t you agree?
When I was single, I’d buy an Entenmann’s ultimate crumb cake on Friday afternoon for the weekend. In the morning at breakfast, I’d read the paper while picking all the crumb off the top with a fork. In other words, crumb cake exists in my world for the crumb.
So why not have a bar that has the same consistency and addictiveness? That’s exactly what is happening here. By taking the egg out of a more standard peanut butter bar recipe, these become mega crumbly. They’re hard to cut, but nobody will care. The best desserts aren’t always the prettiest.
With the pumpkin spice element added in along with candy corn, these are the perfect autumn indulgence. Eat the bars plain, or crumble them over ice cream. And if the power goes out, these will still be supremely eatable. I can’t think of a better way to prepare for a hurricane than to get baking!
Candy Corn PB Pumpkin Spice Crumble Bars
3/4 cup pumpkin spice peanut butter (I used Jif)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup candy corn
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, peanut butter, vanilla, brown sugar and sugar until creamy.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the candy corn.
- Pat the dough into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Cool completely and cut into squares. When you're cutting, these will crumble. Be ready for that!
- Store in an airtight container.