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Friday, October 15, 2010

Paul's Pumpkin Bars (Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting)

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With seven cans of pumpkin still in my pantry, you can expect to see a lot more pumpkin recipes on the blog. Get ready for pancakes, muffins, cookies, and maybe some savory recipes (anyone have a good pumpkin chili or pasta recipe?)! But when I first stocked up on pumpkin, I knew these would be one of the first things I'd make. For years, my mom has been making these pumpkin bars every Fall. They were usually stored in the garage refrigerator, and I could never resist sneaking out to steal another square! I was excited to find that my mom included the recipe in the recipe binder she gifted me at my wedding shower (though, despite having the recipe in front of me, I still had to call my mom with questions. Aren't moms great?!).

The recipe makes a LOT of bars, so be sure to find some pumpkin lovers to share with. Even those who aren't fans of pumpkin might be converted with these. Cream cheese frosting seems to have that effect on people!

One Year Ago: Glazed Scallops with Spinach & Peppers (Looking at that photo makes me SO happy to have my nice camera now--thanks Ry!!)

Paul's Pumpkin Bars
from Better Homes and Gardens

-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp salt
-4 eggs
-1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin
-1 2/3 cups sugar
-1 cup cooking oil
-3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional, I did not include but they're good with them as well!)
-whole pecans, for decoration

For the frosting:
-1/4 cup butter, softened
-4 oz. (1/3 less fat) cream cheese, softened
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 cups powdered sugar

1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, eggs, pumpkin, and oil. Mix in dry ingredients until well combined. (If using chopped pecans, stir in now)
3. Pour batter into a greased 10 x 15 jelly roll pan (or two 8 or 9-inch square pans, as I did). Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
4. Allow pan(s) to cool completely on a wire rack.
5. To make frosting, beat butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add in powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Frost cooled bars with cream cheese frosting. Cut into squares and top each with a whole pecan.

This is linked to Eat at Home.