Friday, December 3, 2010

From My Kitchen: Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

These are some of the best pumpkin bars you will ever taste. Promise! This is an old recipe from a church cookbook. Nothing fancy, but bursting with spices and oh so good.

I made these for Thanksgiving because my house was awash with sick children and I didn't have time to make a homemade pie crust for a pumpkin pie. And I don't keep the ready-made ones on hand. So, no crust, no pie. But these were a delicious substitute that just might become a Thanksgiving tradition for us.

I had to borrow powdered sugar from my neighbor (thanks, Libbie!) to finish making the cream cheese frosting, and yum! Isn't everything better with a little cream cheese frosting on top? And I'm almost positive that the healthy pumpkin cancels out the fat in the cream cheese, so I declare these bars downright healthy!

Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Bars
4 eggs
1 C. vegetable oil
2 C. sugar
1 can pumpkin (16 oz.)
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

8 oz. cream cheese
6 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 C. powdered sugar

Mix eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin together. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured pan. You can use an 11x17 cookie sheet or a 9x13 pan. I like to use the smaller pan so the bars come out more like a cake than a flatter bar. They are delicious either way.

Bake at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes if you use an 11x17 pan, and 38-40 minutes if you use a 9x13 pan. Cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla until soft. Add powdered sugar until you reach a spreadable consistency. I find that this makes too much frosting for a 9x13 pan of bars, so if you want to be frugal, you could halve the frosting recipe. Or you can spread the leftovers on cinnamon graham crackers for a treat your kids will love.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

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