Depending on where you live, you may or may not be familiar with the Aldi grocery chain. The German based market has expanded tremendously in recent years and offers their own unique brands of foods exclusively in their stores.
I love Aldi! Over time I’ve grown to favor their store brands over the readily available name brands. I might as well announce that you’ll likely see more postings based on Aldi products on my website – there are so many wonderful foods on their shelves!
We are currently in the peak season for all things pumpkin. Aldi rolled out their routine line-up of autumn-inspired goods, including their Pumpkin Bar Supreme Mix from Baker’s Corner. The box claims it contains real pumpkin, but does it really? And is it worth buying?
Inside the box contains two packages of dry mix. The first package is for the crust, a dark colored mix with the consistency of brown sugar or cookie crumbles. The second package resembles orange powder. No mushy canned pumpkin here! According to the ingredients, the filling mixture contains dried pumpkin along with sugar and bleach enriched wheat flour as the main components.
The bar mix calls for an 8×8 greased pan with the oven set to 350 degrees F. The crust mix must be mixed with 3 tablespoons of melted butter before being pressed into the bottom of the pan and baked for 5 minutes.
While the crust cooked, I prepared the filling. I whisked the mysterious orange powder with 4 tablespoons of melted butter along with 2 eggs and 1/2 cup water. The liquid mixture turned very orange as a result! Once the crust completed the initial baking, I was ready to pour the filling on top and bake the entire bar mix.
30 minutes later, I found myself gazing into the finished pumpkin concoction:
I noticed right away the pumpkin filling had a thin crispy layer on top while the edges browned much like a brownie. After letting the pumpkin bars cool for about 15 minutes, it was time to eat. I was worried about cutting the slices because I wasn’t sure of its texture. The filling looked rather soupy before baking and the thin top crust looked like a poor barrier to keep the layers in tact. Thankfully, that was not the case. A good spatula helped keep the shape of the bar.
The bars are not very thick, but like brownies, they are sweet and very filling! The pumpkin tastes like the real thing and the crust provides a pleasant flavor combo of cinnamon and graham cracker. I wouldn’t recommend eating this by hand, but I thought the dessert tasted better the next day after being refrigerated overnight.
Final Thoughts: I don’t eat many pumpkin-based products, but I enjoyed the bars overall. I estimate the serving size as 9-12, so it’s a quick dessert to take to a small group or serve to family and guests. The flavors of pumpkin, graham cracker, cinnamon, sugar, and spice encompass all the yummy goodness that fall brings. The bars aren’t exactly made from natural ingredients, but if you looking to escape your persistent relative’s annual pumpkin pie offering, Aldi provides a decent alternative.