Creamy pumpkin spice pie filling, filled with a crumbly shortbread and pecan cookie! These inside out pumpkin pie bites will WOW your guests this Thanksgiving!
It's confession time. I'm so tired of pumpkin spice. I love the flavor just as much as any 30-year old white girl, but it's gone too far. At the store the other day, I saw pumpkin spice hummus and I think it was my breaking point. Can we collectively agree that we've gone off the deep end, and backpedal a bit? Nobody needs pumpkin spice jelly beans.
I think the thing that depresses me most about pumpkin spice EVERYTHING is that for me, it's taking away from the baked goods that have staying power. Pumpkin bars. Pumpkin cake rolls. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin bread. And all of the creative varieties of these traditional pumpkin desserts. The desserts that make me think of fall, family, Thanksgiving, and tradition. Desserts that you anticipate year round, and pass from generation to generation.
So, I've been groaning a bit about pumpkin, but I finally put my big girl pants on and decided to use the can of pureed pumpkin that's been staring at me since early September. I looked through my family cookbook for some inspiration. My sister makes an incredible pumpkin roll, but that felt a little too involved for a Thursday night. My Grandma made a killer pumpkin pie, but again, I didn't feel like making crust that evening. My eyes landed on my cousin's easy pumpkin cake, and I was sold. Her recipe is a dump style cake, with creamy, sweet pumpkin pie filling on the bottom, covered by a crumbly shortbread type crust. It's pretty easy, while still tasting very special.
But, I had a wild thought. What if I somehow made these into individual sized desserts? I'm into those right now. They feel more conducive to the type of gatherings we have, and I can easily ship them off to my husband's work, or bring them in for my coworkers without worrying about my baking dishes going M.I.A. So, I mixed up the two layers of her cake recipe, and whipped out my muffin tins. First in, the pumpkin layer. Next, a ball of the crumbly shortbread cookie topping, plopped in the middle with some extra pecans. I threw them in the oven, and crossed my fingers that they wouldn't be a disaster! When they came out, I absolutely devoured the first one, and felt guilty for every being weary of pumpkin spice. SO GOOD!
You'll definitely want to eat these with a fork. They hold together pretty well, but I wouldn't consider them a "hand held" dessert like a cupcake. If you have fancy matching ramekins (4 ounce size), these would be AWESOME in them. I used cupcake liners because I wanted them to be easily removed from the tin, and don't have small ramekins. I'll definitely be making these inside out pumpkin pie bites for Thanksgiving, so I have about 30 days to find some ramekins that I like. Enjoy!
For the pumpkin layer
- 1 and ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 can of pumpkin puree (15 ounce)
- 1 can of evaporated milk (12 ounce)
- 2.5 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
For the cookie filling
- 1 and ¾ sticks butter, melted
- 1 box of yellow cake mix, dry
- 1 cup of chopped pecans
- Chopped pecans, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together pumpkin layer ingredients.
- In another medium mixing bowl, mix together cookie filling.
- Spoon 2.5 tablespoons of pumpkin layer into each cupcake liner.
- Scoop about 1 tablespoon of cookie filling and form into a ball with your hands. Place into the middle of each cupcake liner.
- Bake at 350F degrees for 30-35 minutes until pumpkin layer is firm and cookie filling is JUST starting to brown.
- Remove, from oven, sprinkle with additional chopped pecans.
Have you ever taken a traditional family recipe and flipped it on it's head? I'd love to hear about it!