Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bars

Oh my gosh, where have these bars been all my life? My new Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bars are packed with fall flavor and nourishing ingredients. They've been on repeat in our house since mid-October!


These bars are honestly one of my favorite desserts I've ever made. They're perfect in every way. Sweet juicy pears are sandwiched between two layers of crumbly crust, and it's all exploding with warming spices inspired by chai tea. They're wonderfully cozy for fall, yet a bit zippy from all the spices.

If you're looking for the most warming, comforting November dessert, this is it!


To make these, you'll start by making a spice blend featuring all the classic chai tea flavors: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, a bit of turmeric, and the tiniest dash of black pepper. I know the turmeric and pepper may sound strange, but they help give these bars a very subtle, indescribable kick.

This spice blend is the flavor powerhouse! But to keep things simple, you'll divide the spice blend between the crust and the filling so that you only need to measure once. Hooray!


 
The crust/crumble is also a two-for-one deal. It forms the crust on the bottom of the bars, as well as the crumble on the top of the bars. All of this is aimed at trying to get to dessert as fast as humanly possible, because sometimes you just need a comforting fall dessert ASAP.


In addition to being packed with flavor, these bars are packed with good-for-you ingredients too. The crust is mostly nut butter and oats, is sweetened only with maple syrup, and has just a bit of coconut oil to bring it together. Plus some walnuts and flax, since we all need our omegas! The filling is just pears and a dash of maple syrup.

But despite the fact that the ingredients are all essentially a bowl of oatmeal, these bars feel majorly indulgent. The crust crisps up beautifully, the flavors are so pronounced, and the pears are so juicy and succulent. They certainly don't seem like a "healthy" dessert, and I'd have no hesitation serving these to a crowd at Thanksgiving. But they also have such simple, whole food ingredients that we've been bringing them for lunch. Win win!


I know pie is all the rage at Thanksgiving, but I'd actually much rather have these. They're way more flavorful, and much lighter after a big meal. Plus they come together so quickly, which means a lot less prep time on a busy holiday. They're majorly delicious, and no one will care that you didn't make a classic pie crust. Serve them up with a scoop of ice cream and caramel sauce and you'll have yourself a killer fall dessert.

Can anything be better than juicy pears, a crisp and crumbly crust, and cozy chai spices? No way!


Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Looking for another super-cozy yet nourishing fall dessert? I'm in love with this Pumpkin Macadamia Oat Flour Cake.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

For the Spice Blend
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg 
  • 0.5 tsp cardamom
  • 0.25 tsp turmeric
  • 0.25 tsp cloves
  • Few grinds of black pepper. I know this sounds weird, but trust me! It's critical for that chai tea flavor punch.
For the Crust:
  • 1 c smooth nut butter. I like to use peanut butter since it's less expensive than other types, but use what you like.
  • 0.5 c maple syrup
  • 0.25 c coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 0.5 c walnuts
  • 2 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • About two-thirds of the spice blend
For the Filling:
  • 3 medium-sized pears
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • About one third of the spice blend
  • 8-10 cubes of crystallized ginger, very finely diced. I adore this stuff and bake with it all the time! It adds magical flavor. Most health food stores and food Co-Ops will have it in bulk. Although feel free to omit it if you can't find it or if you want to avoid refined sugar completely.

Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and thoroughly oil an 8x8 baking dish. I like to use coconut oil.
  2. Prepare the spice blend and give everything a thorough mix.
  3. In a sauce pot over low heat, combine and melt the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla (i.e. all of the wet ingredients for the crust).
  4. While the wet ingredients are melting, measure the dry ingredients for the crust (oats, walnuts, flax meal, salt, and two thirds of the spice blend) into a food processor.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and pulse the food processor a few times to bring everything together. Don't over-process it! Just a few pulses is fine to combine everything and coarsely chop the oats and walnuts; I'd shoot for about ten seconds total. You want a crumbly consistency, not a smooth one.
  6. Dice up the pears (I don't bother removing the skin, although you can if you prefer) and mix them with the rest of the filling ingredients.
  7. Put a little over half of the crust mixture into your baking pan and press it down firmly. You want to achieve a smooth, coherent layer that covers the whole bottom of the pan. Add a couple more spoonfuls if you need, and press firmly.
  8. Add the pear filling over the top and spread it gently into an even layer. Press it down to ensure everything will stick together well.
  9. Spoon the crust mixture in clumps over the top of the pears and press them down gently. I like to do discrete small blobs here and there, rather than a full layer, to really get the crumbly effect.
  10. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the pears have cooked down and the crust is lightly browned.
  11. Cool the bars completely for easier, neater cutting. They reheat very nicely in the microwave.

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