Yield: 21 Pumpkin Pie Candy Bars
- 25 square shortbread cookies, like Lorna Doone brand
- 1 lb white candy coating
- 6 ounces chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or your own mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger)
- 3/4 cup powdered dry milk
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, from about 12 crackers
- 1 tbsp milk, optional
- Ground cinnamon for decoration
1. Line a 9x9-inch pan with foil, and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place the shortbread cookies in the bottom of the pan right next to each other, so there is no space in between them. If you are not using Lorna Doone brand, you may need a different number of cookies, and you may need to cut them so that they fit and cover the entire bottom of the pan.
2. Melt 2/3 cup of the white candy coating, stirring until it is smooth and free of lumps. Pour it onto the shortbread cookies, and use a spatula to smooth it into a thin, even layer. You don't want a thick layer of candy coating, this is just to hold the shortbread cookies together and to act as a barrier between the pumpkin filling so that the cookies don’t get soggy. Set aside the pan and let the coating harden while you prepare the pumpkin layer.
3. In a small bowl, melt the chopped white chocolate (or white chocolate chips) in the microwave in short bursts until it is melted and entirely smooth. Set aside for now.
4. Place the pumpkin puree in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Add the powdered milk, the powdered sugar, and the pumpkin pie spice. Beat on low until incorporated, then scrape down the mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until very smooth.
5. Add the melted white chocolate and the molasses, and mix until incorporated. Finally, stir in the graham cracker crumbs. The mixture will become much more stiff. It should have the final texture of a stiff cookie dough: soft enough to easily roll into a ball, but the ball should hold its shape well and not be sticky. If it seems too stiff, add the spoonful of milk and mix it in.
6. Scrape the pumpkin filling onto the shortbread cookies, and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate the pan to chill the pumpkin filling until firm, for about 1-2 hours.
7. Cut the candy into small bars using a large sharp chef's knife. I usually make 7 rows and 3 columns, for a total of 21 miniature candy bars. You can adjust the size to suit your taste.
8. Melt the remaining white chocolate candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl until smooth and fluid.
9. Dip a candy bar into the melted coating using dipping tools or a fork. Let the excess drip back into the bowl, then place it on a foil-lined baking sheet. While the coating is still wet, sprinkle the top with a little ground cinnamon. Repeat until all of the candy bars are dipped.
10. Pumpkin Pie Candy Bars can be kept at room temperature for up to a week, or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For the best taste and texture, ring them to room temperature before serving.