If you can stop yourself from eating the pumpkin cookie dough right out of the bowl, make these No-Bake Pumpkin Cookie Dough Bars with a graham cracker crust and marshmallow topping. They'll make your fall dreams come true!
If edible cookie dough was a thing when I was in high school, I can only imagine what after school snack time would have looked like. Come home from school, grab some cookie dough, head down to the computer, and chat on AIM with friends for several hours while eating cookie dough out of a giant mixing bowl.
It would have been a bad scene. But at the time, eating raw cookie dough was one of those things you had to do sneakingly and sparingly and with the ever present fear you would get terribly sick with salmonella, never to recover.
But man, cookie dough has always been so delicious and hard to resist.
Luckily for us, the world has changed quite a bit since 2001... Both for good and for worse. But one REALLY good way it's changed? It's now totally acceptable to eat raw cookie dough when you make it in a safe way.
And let me tell you, this has been the year of edible cookie dough for me. I just can't get enough. And every time I make a cookie dough bar, I swear, it's the most absolute best thing in the world. Every time I have Chris try a new variety, his eyes get all wide and he says, "this is the best thing you've ever made." Therefore, I will never stop making them!
This time? I made No-Bake Pumpkin Cookie Dough Bars with a graham cracker crust and marshmallow topping and they are everything your fall dreams are made of.
How to Make Cookie Dough Safe to Eat
There are two things that potentially make cookie dough not safe to eat: eggs and all-purpose flour. Lots of people don't realize raw flour can make you sick, but it can!
What makes this cookie dough safe to eat? Well to start, it doesn't have any eggs in it, so no problems there.
It does have all-purpose flour in it, but if you're wary about consuming it, it's super easy to zap it in the oven (or toaster oven) and get rid of anything that could cause illness. I know that technically means you have to bake to make these no-bake pumpkin bars, but you can always cook your flour ahead of time or even buy it already treated!
I recommend spreading the flour out on a cookie sheet and baking it at 350 for just 5 minutes. Let it cool before baking with it.
Otherwise, this is just a basic cookie dough, with the addition of pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice.
How to Make No-Bake Pumpkin Cookie Dough Bars
There are three different components to these cookie dough bars, but they come together pretty easily. And the best part? They are a no bake dessert!
To start, you'll make a quick graham cracker crust with graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and butter. Pat that down into the bottom of a foil-covered 8x8 baking pan.
And then it's time to whip up the pumpkin cookie dough!
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
Add pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and blend until combined. With mixer on low, slowly add flour to bowl until well combined. If dough is too sticky, add additional flour 1 Tbsp at a time.
Remove pan with cookie crust from freezer and press cookie dough into an even layer over cookie crust.
The final component is the marshmallow topping! I actually spent a lot of time trying to decide how I should top these cookie dough bars.
I almost used a simple caramel drizzle and I briefly considered a buttercream frosting. But I kept going back to creamy marshmallow being a nice balance for the pumpkin flavor.
I wanted to keep these cookie dough bars no bake, so instead of topping with actual marshmallows, I made a quick marshmallow sauce and spread it over the bars.
Then I topped the marshmallow with some lovely Halloween sprinkles and popped he bars in the fridge to chill for a couple hours.
And then sliced them up and enjoyed. Like really, really enjoyed.
The layers of these cookie dough bars are all delightful in their own way and when put together, they're downright heavenly. The kind of heavenly that makes you close your eyes each time you take a bite and sigh, "omg these are so good."
Yes, the marshmallow is a bit messy, but that's part of the fun of these. I also used a whole lot of it and you can certainly go a little lighter on it if you want. Or skip it all together and opt for a caramel drizzle or nothing at all.
Or you could just eat the pumpkin cookie dough right out of the mixing bowl because you're an adult and we live in a wonderful age where cookie dough is edible and that should be celebrated every single day.
Who cares if you get a little marshmallow sauce on your fingers, right??
The cookie dough bars are also a little dangerous in that they're packed with a lot of sweetness and they're tough to stop eating. As in, I can only imagine if these were a thing when I was in high school because I would have been mindlessly eating them while gossiping on instant messenger.
I also may have learned to "bake" a whole lot earlier than I did, but that's neither here nor there.
Now that I know how to easily make these, Instant Messenger is dead (RIP) and people rarely email anymore (seriously, I kind of miss email). But 2018 is a much better place because cookie dough is finally safe to eat. Who needs email anyway??
These pumpkin cookie dough bars make the ultimate Halloween party treat, but you'll also want to keep a batch in your fridge all fall long. Not that I would know anything about that! Ahem. Please send help.
Do you love edible cookie dough as much as I do?
Pumpkin Cookie Dough Bars
Graham Cracker Crus
- 18 graham cracker sheets (2 sleeves graham crackers)
- 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
Pumpkin Cookie Dough
- 1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Marshmallow Sauce Topping
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 cup corn syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
Graham Cracker Crush
- Put graham crackers in a food processor or blender and blend until they turn into fine crumbs. Pour in melted butter and add brown sugar and pulse a few times until well blended.
- Line an 8x8 baking pan with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Pour graham cracker crumbs into baking pan and press down into even layer on bottom of pan.
- Place pan in freezer for 30 minutes while you prepare the cookie dough.
Pumpkin Cookie Dough and Assembly
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
- Add pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and blend until combined. With mixer on low, slowly add flour to bowl until well combined. If dough is too sticky, add additional flour 1 Tbsp at a time.
- Remove pan with cookie crust from freezer and press cookie dough into an even layer over cookie crust.
- Spread marshmallow sauce over the top of the cookie dough, using as much as you want, and smooth evenly with a spatula (note that marshmallow sauce will drizzle off the bars once they're removed from the fridge, so the more you use, the "messier" they'll be). Add sprinkles over the top.
- Place pan in fridge chill for at least an hour. Once chilled, remove bars from pan by lifting foil. Using a sharp knife, slice into 25 squares, or however many you want.
Marshmallow Sauce Topping
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat egg whites, corn syrup, and salt on high speed for 4-5 minutes until mixture thickens quite a bit. The mixture will have started clear, but after beating, it will turn bright white.
- Beat in confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and cream of tartar on low speed, until combined.
- If you are wary of eating raw flour, you can toast it. Just spread flour on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes.
- I recommend keeping these bars in the fridge in an airtight container.