Beyond/ Blog Posts

Magic Pumpkin Butter Bars with Pumpkin Seeds and a Gingersnap Crust

It is turn around day – meaning unpack, wash clothes and pack again. I’m not used to this! After having had a fabulous time with Zoe exploring the Brandywine Valley, it is now off to Phoenix where my landscape will be a sea of boxes! Though I am still not feeling 100% about my parent’s move, I will be happy to have it over with.

So very quickly, as I have way too much to do, I will tell you what makes these bars so magical. It begins with their ease of preparation and ends with their lovely Fall flavor. I brought a batch to Zoe’s where I left them in the able hands of her boyfriend. I guess one exchange for the other, if you know what I mean! He happened to text Zoe that they were magical, so you will have to trust him on this. Of course he confessed to me that he also has a cookie and cake addiction, which means we have something in common. What we don’t have in common is that he is tall and thin and well….I am just the opposite.

I took lots of “great” pics on the trip and even put a few on Instagram. My daughter finally feels I am entering the modern world! This involved getting rid of my flip phone which now means I need to learn something new! And if you tried to follow me on Instagram I had the follow name wrong. Mine is This_Is_How_I_Cook. What a hassle to type, so I will get a button soon! But I did take lots of photos of us having fun! I’ve never seen so many pumpkins in my life in PA, nor have I seen so many people picking them!

We also had a super time at the bed and breakfast. Check out Hamanassett, when you have a chance. Glenn and Ashley are fantastic hosts!


It was a close, quaint getaway from Philly. On the way we stopped and did some apple slinging, and some apple picking. Everyone picks apples carrying their Michael Kors bags, don’t they?




We also saw a lot of pumpkins. And oh yeah, we ate these decadent potato chips, too! Aren’t they gorgeous?





The next day we explored Winterthur, where we saw the Downton Abbey costumes and the fabulous mansion. And Zoe climbed in the giant bird’s nest.





Sunday found us at the Brandywine Museum which contains an outstanding collection of Wyeth paintings that I have adored, ever since my parents had one of their art books on our coffee table. Yes, we ate a lot and also visited a store called Terrain that is owned by Anthropologie, and is a remarkable landscaping, garden and home goods store, that has a cafe I could live in. I’ve already checked out their great site and signed up for their blog. Wouldn’t you just love to dine at this table?


That’s it for now, except I will share the recipe for these bars. I started with a gingersnap crust, but one could use graham crackers, too. I topped this with a pumpkin butter filling courtesy of Trader Joe’s, but if you can’t find pumpkin butter, you can just use canned pumpkin, too. I finished this off with pumpkin seeds, but feel free to use the nut of your choice. They taste great cold, and are also decadent at room temperature. Sultry and spicy and rich, they are what the season of fall represents, at least to me. Let me warn you, they are also magical, which seems to be the best way to describe my trip!


Magic Pumpkin Butter Bars with Pumpkin Seeds and a Gingersnap Crust

Makes:  9 x 13 pan
2 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs or gingersnaps crushed to make 2 1/4 c
1 stick butter
8 T pumpkin butter or 3/4 c pumpkin mixed with 2 1/2 t pumpkin spice
1 can condensed milk
1 c Heath toffee chips
3/4 c white chocolate chips
3/4 c semisweet or dark chocolate chips
1/2 c green pumpkin seeds
1 c shredded coconut
1/4-1/2 t coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350. Line pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Mix butter with crumbs in a bowl and pat into the bottom of a 9 x 13″ pan. In small bowl mix pumpkin and spices or pumpkin butter with condensed milk. Pour over top of crumbs. Top with toffee. Next the white chocolate chips and then the dark chocolate chips. Sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds. Last, but not least, add the coconut. Then sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt.

Bake at 350 for about 45-60 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate. Lift parchment out of pan and cut bars into size of your choice. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Now got outside and smell the fall air.  Now take a bite from one of these bars and taste it!


Don’t forget to sign up for the Whole Foods giveaway. I have another one coming soon, in honor of American Cheese month. Also if you shop from the Whole Foods e-store from now until the 29th you can get 10% off. What a great way to save on your holiday orders!

Other Fall recipes:
Pumpkin Brown Sugar Muffins
Simple Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
Smoky Pumpkin Hummus
Chicken with Figs, Pumpkin and Red Wine
Brown Sugar Spice Cake with Pumpkin Glaze
Magic Cookie Bars


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    October 22, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    You are one busy lady! Looks like a fabulous time with Zoe…you girls know how to have fun! Good luck with moving your parents. You'll be so grateful when it's all over!
    P.S. Those bars look amazing!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 19, 2014 at 4:33 am

      It was fabulous! Not a dull moment! And the move is over and I'm just glad they are happy!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    October 23, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Gingersnap for me, please — I much prefer its flavor to graham crackers. Nice bars, and it sounds like you had a wonderful visit! Your next trip is work, alas — hope everything goes well and you'll be back home soon.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 19, 2014 at 4:34 am

      Thanks John! Work it was, but makes coming home sweeter!

  • Reply
    Amy (Savory Moments)
    October 23, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Wow look at all the goodies packed into these bars! I love the pumpkin photos and that cool giant bird's nest.

  • Reply
    Anna and Liz Recipes
    October 23, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Wow these bars look amazing! We love magical bars and love all the ingredients you put into this one. I could probably finish off the entire tray …. BTW you and your daughter look beautiful in that photo!

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    October 23, 2014 at 3:18 am

    Like mother, like daughter! You two ladies are gorgeous, Abbe.
    These pumpkin bars look scrumptious.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 19, 2014 at 4:35 am

      Oh Angie. I am blushing. the bars are scrumptious. Zoe's boyfriend loved them. Hubby went looking for them while I was gone and was quite upset that I gave them away!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    October 23, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Well happy travels Abbe! Looks like you are both having such fun. Beautiful photos, beautiful ladies – yummy food and gorgeous dessert! Yum! Be safe 🙂

  • Reply
    October 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    OMG, heath toffee bites are in those?! Insulin worthy! Have a safe trip to your folks place 😀

  • Reply
    October 23, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    damn delicious pumpkin bars!!!
    never seen that tons of pumpkin before…

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 19, 2014 at 4:37 am

      I hadn't either Dede! Lots of pumpkins in Pennsylvania!

  • Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    October 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for taking us on your lovely fall get away. Great photos. I felt like I was there with you. I know it is unsettling with your parents move but all changes are always difficult at first. Now I wish I was in the same room as your magic pumpkin butter bars. These look heavenly and a perfect bite of fall…

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 19, 2014 at 4:37 am

      Oh Bam. The trip East was so fun. Love that time of year out there!

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    October 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Abbe, looks like you are having the time of your life, beautiful fall pictures. The Terrain store sounds amazing!

  • Reply
    Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself
    October 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    The pumpkin bars are magic, I could imagine devouring them in a single bite 😀
    I love your autumn-esque photos, it looks like so much fun!

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 19, 2014 at 4:38 am

      No esque. Just Autumn! It was perfect. Thanks Uru!

  • Reply
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea
    October 25, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    What a fab trip. All of that and the Wyeth paintings—Wow. I am envious. Good luck at your parents. I am liking the magic bars—-made me think of the magic beans of Jack and the Beanstalk. I would have no problem eating a couple of these with a cup of coffee right now.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 19, 2014 at 4:39 am

      OOOh. jack and the Beanstalk. Loved that tale. No tea? Coffee. OK, you got it!

  • Reply
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    October 26, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I loved this post. I wanted to be with you every single minute. Especially in the bird's nest. 🙂

    Your bars look yummy and are perfect for the season!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 19, 2014 at 4:40 am

      Thanks Maureen. I wish you were. My guess is we'd have a blast!

  • Reply
    Sharon D
    October 26, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Wow..I have never seen such beautiful pumpkins! I'm excited to see these photos.
    Pumpkin butter bars look amazing too ^.^

  • Reply
    Lea Ann
    October 26, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Fabulous trip. I've never been to this part of the country and want to go one of these Falls. A coworker made something similar to this recipe but this sounds ever more delicious with the crust. Love that crow napkin.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 19, 2014 at 4:41 am

      Thanks Lea Ann. You really should get out there. Fall is a great time to do it!

  • Reply
    Sippity Sup
    October 26, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    The fall colors in that part of the world amaze. As do those pumpkins. I see where the inspiration for these bars came from too. GREG

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 19, 2014 at 4:41 am

      Greg, I've never seen this many pumpkins in one spot! And all the varieties;some of which I'd never seen. So much fun!

  • Reply
    Karen Harris
    October 28, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    What beautiful photos Abbe! Looks like a great time with your dear Zoe. These bars look wonderful. One day after we move and I can call that 1960s bronze tone Tappan my own, I hope to give them a try.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      November 19, 2014 at 4:42 am

      Can't wait to see that Tappan! Might be worth a lot! Thanks, Karen!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.