Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Bars!

This is one of my very favorite things to make in the fall! It is amazing. When I worked at Novell, we had a fun food Friday where we brought homemade goodies to share. One of my coworkers was famous for these pumpkin bars and shared her recipe. I have yet to find one that is better. Oh, and the only changes I make are to use half whole wheat and fresh pumpkin or butternut squash!

Pumpkin Bars
2 cups flour (I use one cup whole wheat flour)

2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup oil (I use 1 cube (cup) melted butter and 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
16 oz. (2 cups) pumpkin (I prefer fresh pumpkin or butternut squash)
4 eggs
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8oz cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
lemon juice (I like to juice a whole lemon)
milk to thin (1 to 2 Tablespoons)

Mix all ingredients, pour into 13x9x2 greased pan. Bake 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Cool completely.
*For tips on cooking fresh pumpkin or butternut squash see this post.
*This makes a very thick pumpkin bar which is perfect for feeding a crowd (I half the recipe if I'm not sharing).

Prepare cream cheese icing by whipping softened cream cheese with butter and vanilla until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar until smooth. Add lemon juice to taste. Stir in milk to thin frosting to spreading consistency. Frost bars and serve!
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