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Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin BarsBen asks for pumpkin bars all year round, but I never cave in to make them until the fall.  Much to Ben’s dismay, the rule in our house is that pumpkin-anything is for the fall season.  I like pumpkin things way too much to risk myself getting sick of it by enjoying it all year. See, by limiting it to a season it remains a novelty…a much anticipated taste.

Are you the same way?  What seasonal recipes do you break out only during certain parts of the year or maybe just for certain occasions?

Up until now, I’ve always made the pumpkin bars recipe from my Better Homes and Garden cook book.  Consequently, I decided I wanted to try something new and ended up absolutely loving this improved version.  These bars are thick and deliciously moist.  Even with the dollop of cream cheese frosting on top, they are suitable to serve as finger food.

Pumpkin Bars<Oops, one didn’t make it past the photo shoot.  But, my belly was much happier!>

I brought these to a cook-out with the pastors this weekend.  They were a hit.  And, no, they weren’t just a bunch of pastors trying to be nice (although, they are very nice, including my dear hubby).  They, and their wives, were licking their fingers, rubbing their bellies and smiling big…if that’s any indication of a genuine compliment.

Ben even mentioned that he really liked the presentation of these over the former.  How often does a man, at least MY man, comment on food presentation??  Hardly ever…never…zip…zilch…never…did I say that already?  :)  Yes, we’ll be having these many times before fall is over.

Pumpkin Bars

Printable Recipe

Yield: 20 bars

For the bars:
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup veggie oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the cream cheese frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 cups sifted powdered sugar

For the bars:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Grease a 13″x9″ baking pan.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin.  Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy.

In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.  Whisk until thoroughly incorporated.

Without over-mixing, gradually stir in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.  Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the cream cheese frosting:

Clean out the mixing bowl and paddle attachment, then combine the cream cheese and butter.   Use the paddle attachment to mix on medium speed until smooth.  Turn the speed to low and stir in the sugar and vanilla.

Once the cake is cooled, cut into 20 bars and place on serving platter.  Use spoon, or piping bag, to dollop frosting on top of each bar.  Another option is to spread the frosting on the bars before cutting.

Source:  Adapted from Sweet Peas Kitchen, originally from Paula Deen

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Comments

  1. i do eat some pumpkin things all year round, but they seem to taste better in the fall!

  2. I am glad that everyone enjoyed them! When I took these into my work they were gone in less than 30 minutes!! I guess that tells you how much everyone loved them! :) I will have to make these again too…they are sooo perfect for fall!

  3. Sue Gladd says:

    Nikki! Can I move in with you for about a year?

  4. I love pumpkin everything! These look fabulous!!

  5. Oh, wow! These look fabulous. I have a pumpkin cupcake recipe that I swear by, but these might have them beat!

  6. Yummmm
    “can pumpkin”.. What should I do if I use a fresh pumpkin?

  7. oh, I just found the “Pumpkin Puree” step by step tutorial http://penniesonaplatter.com/2009/10/11/pumpkin-puree/
    Thanks!!

  8. OMGosh! I JUST found your blog and had to write! I’m your new biggest fan! LOVE your blog- pics and recipes and I’m a HUGE pumpkin fan– I live in France and I have to make my own fresh puree- b/c we don’t have canned stuff! Thanks for ALL The wonderful recipes! Can’t wait to try them! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  9. Made these for my church group the other night and they were a big hit. Thanks for posting!

  10. I am going to try these pumpkin bars! They look moist and delicious. Since I don’t have any cream cheese in the house and I just got back from shopping, I’m going to sprinkle powdered sugar on them as a sweet topping. I know it won’t be as good as your recipe, but for a lunch box treat, I think it will do. Thank you very much!

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