Did you know that December is national pear month? In fact, 2016 is the 12th year since the month-long dedication was made.
We love to eat pears around our house. Typically we buy them fresh and wait impatiently for them to ripen to the perfect point of sweetness. Okay, sometimes we still eat them before they’re fully ripened. They’re just so good!
So it’s no surprise that when I decided to take on pie bars this year, pears were my first thought. And just to make things more interesting (and because I knew the combination would be amazing), I decided to add Biscoff to the mix. And so these incredibly delicious pear pie bars with Biscoff were born.
It makes sense really. The strong cinnamon and brown sugar flavors in Biscoff cookies match perfectly with the delicate sweetness of pears.Pears and Biscoff, of course. #food #sweets Click To Tweet
Instead of creating a pie crust base, I decided to create a Biscoff modification of the shortbread recipe from the cranberry curd bars. It turns out that was the perfect choice, because wow is it good.
On top of the Biscoff shortbread is a thick layer of finely sliced pears, with a touch of seasoning and sugar, and a bit of instant tapioca to help thicken things up.
Of course, there’s the topping to think of too. Pie crust is notoriously finicky and despite trying multiple brands, I just haven’t found a store-bought crust that I love.
Besides, how can you beat streusel topping? It’s just so crunchy and delicious. The thick dollops of streusel on these bars are everything that a streusel should be. Sweet and crisp, with just a touch of chewiness.
But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no, it just can’t stop there. A generous drizzle of cookie butter takes these bars totally over the top into sweet perfection.
Our family won’t stop enjoying fresh pears throughout fall and winter, but I can’t think of a tastier way to celebrate national pear month than with one of these pear pie bars with Biscoff.
Pear Pie Bars with Biscoff
- 1 C Biscoff cookie crumbs (about 2/3 of a package of cookies)
- 1/4 c finely chopped walnuts
- 3/4 c + 2 Tbsp All-Purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 3 C thinly sliced pears (about 4 medium sized pears)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp white sugar
- 1.5 Tbsp instant tapioca
(Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
- 1/2 C old fashioned oats
- 1/4 C brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp All-Purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 C cold, unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup Biscoff cookie butter
- Prepare a 9×9 pan with criss-crossing sheets of parchment paper.
- Prepare the crust: Place Biscoff cookies in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Don’t worry about grinding the cookies into dust. A few lumps will be fine. Combine cookie crumbs with finely chopped walnuts, flour and salt. Add in 1 stick cubed butter and combine until evenly distributed and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it in your hand. Add cubed butter on top of nut mixture and pulse until mixture holds together when you squeeze it in your hand.
- Press the shortbread into the prepared pan. With a layer of parchment paper in between, use the bottom of a flat measuring cup, or a cold package of butter to make the layer as even as possible. Freeze for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake frozen crust for 20 minutes until just slightly golden in color. Cool completely.
- While the crust is baking and cooling, prepare the filling. Slice pears about 1/4-inch thick and combine with cinnamon, sugar, and instant tapioca. Set aside.
- Prepare the streusel topping by combining oats, cinnamon, brown sugar and flour with a fork. Add in cold butter, a few pieces at a time, and cut in with a fork (You can also use your hands to combine the topping) until crumbly.
- Pour the pear mixture onto the cooled crust, and press into the crust, ensuring there are no significant gaps. Sprinkle with streusel topping.
- Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes until streusel is set. Allow to cool completely; preferably overnight.
- Cut into 12 – 16 small rectangles. Carefully heat up 1/3 cup Biscoff cookie butter in the microwave on low heat until just smooth enough to pour, about 30 seconds in 10-second intervals. Drizzle melted cookie butter on top of the bars and allow to set. Bars are delicious cold or at room temperature.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy pears?