Butternut Squash Shortbread Bars

Photo: Nick Collins via Unsplash


By Amanda Hutchinson

This is an amalgamated recipe that I used for Thanksgiving at my boyfriend’s house in Binghamton this year. His family already had an apple pie, and the thought of making a pumpkin pie scared me, so I started with something I knew would work (the shortbread) and came up with a twist on pumpkin bars: Butternut Squash Shortbread Bars. I’ve used acorn and butternut squashes from the farmers market, but fresh or canned pumpkin will also work.

Shortbread crust (from The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors)

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ pound butter, softened

Filling (adapted from the Land O’ Lakes Treasury of Country Recipes)

  • A 1 pound acorn or butternut squash, seeds removed, roasted until tender, and mashed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ c pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice

Preheat oven to 325º. Assemble shortbread by mixing all ingredients in a bowl until it’s a homogenous mix.

Press the shortbread into an even layer on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

While the shortbread is baking, combine squash, sugar and eggs in a bowl. Add cream, maple syrup and apple pie spice and mix well.

Turn the oven up to 350º, then pour the filling onto the shortbread crust, making sure it’s evenly distributed. Bake for 30 minutes, then in 10-minute increments until the filling is set; it took me about 50 minutes total.

Chill in the fridge until ready to eat.

Recipe adapted from Crazy for Crust’s pumpkin pie bar recipe

Amanda Hutchinson is a senior journalism major at Ithaca College who enjoys making real food on a college budget. Check out her other work at amandalhutchinson.wordpress.com.

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