Although pumpkin spice season officially begins in September, I quite enjoy the scent of cinnamon all year round. In fact, THAT spice smell, along with evergreen and rosemary, makes the holiday season especially sensational in my mind.

It’s not just the family get togethers, friendly company, and gift giving that warms my heart, but it’s the SMELL of the season that really gets me going.


And now that Halloween is here, I have more than enough excuses to start baking pumpkin, squash, and other winter goodies any date or time.


Happy fall. Happy Halloween.

Happy holiday season.

Pumpkin Pecan Spice Crumble Bars

Cake Mix:
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 cups white sugar 
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder 
1 tsp. salt 
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 Tbs. flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, COLD, chopped into chunks
1 tsp. cinnamon

3 eggs 
2 Tbs. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Spiced Pumpkin Butter:
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup apple juice
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. sea salt

In a large Dutch oven or simmering pot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, 25 minutes or until thick. (If mixture spatters, reduce heat to medium-low). Remove from heat and allow to cool.


Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Using hands, work the butter pieces into the mixture, until large clumps form. 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Grease and flour a 9″ X 13″ pan. 
Divide cake mix, placing all but one cup in a mixing bowl. 
Stir the melted butter and one egg into the cake mix until combined. 
Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. 

In another bowl, mix pumpkin butter with two eggs and milk until combined. 
Spread pumpkin mixture over pressed cake mix. 
Stir the reserved 1 cup of cake mix with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. 
Then add the cold butter and mix together with your hands until crumbly. 
Sprinkle over the top of the pumpkin layer. 
Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown. 
Cool and cut into 2 ” squares.

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