Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bars

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(Note: this post was originally published on November 10, 2019. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)

Chai Win!

I'm so excited to introduce you to my new favorite cozy treat.  These Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bars are packed with fall flavor and nostalgic vibes, yet made with nourishing ingredients. They've been on repeat in our house all season long. If you're looking for the most warming, comforting fall and winter dessert (that's also secretly good for the body and easy to make), this is it!

These flavor-packed bars are 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.

Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bars on a cooling rack

Two-For-One

To make these bars, 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! This sneaky trick keeps these bars easy to make, despite the fact that the ingredient list may seem long at first glance.

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 possible, because sometimes you just need a comforting fall dessert ASAP.

Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bars ready for baking

Good For the Body

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 indulgent. The crust crisps up beautifully, the flavors are really 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 a holiday meal. But they also have such simple, whole food ingredients that we've been bringing them for lunch. Win win!

Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bars with pears and cinnamon sticks

Let's Talk Ingredients

Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom
  • Turmeric
  • Cloves
  • Black pepper. I know this sounds weird, but trust me! It's critical for that chai tea flavor punch.
  • Smooth nut butter. I like to use peanut butter since it's less expensive than other types, but use what you like. Cashew butter will have the most neutral flavor.
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut oil
  • Vanilla
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Walnuts
  • Flax seed meal
  • Salt
  • Pears. Use whatever you love most. I prefer to use pears that are a little on the harder side so that they keep their shape while baking.
  • Crystallized ginger. 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.

Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bar on a plate with ice cream

Closing Thoughts

I know pie is all the rage during the holidays, 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!

Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bar close-up

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Spiced Pomegranate Daiquiri

Maple Sea Salt Hummus

Apple Cider Harvest Salad

Orange and Cinnamon Roasted Delicata Squash

Wild Rice Stuffed Delicata Squash

Chai-Spiced Pear Crumble Bars

Bursting with cozy chai spices, these pear crumble bars are a delightful treat (or maybe even breakfast!) all fall and winter long. They're secretly good for the body but feel so indulgent.

Author:
Lee

Ingredients

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 ground cloves
  • Few grinds of black pepper

For the Crust:

  • 1 c smooth nut butter
  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and thoroughly rub a 9x9 baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. Prepare the spice blend and give everything a thorough mix.
  3. In a sauce pan over low heat, combine and melt the nut 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. You want a crumbly consistency, not a smooth one.
  6. Dice up the pears and mix them with the rest of the filling ingredients. You can remove the skin if you want, but it's not necessary.
  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.
  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 remaining crust mixture in clumps over the top of the pears and press it down gently.
  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. Store finished bars in a sealed container in the fridge.

Leave a Comment

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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Jen
January 6, 2022
Made these over the weekend using almond butter. Super cozy! Easy too.