Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pumpkin Bar Goodness

The plethora of fun Halloween stuff that's appeared at Target really got me in a fall mood this past weekend and inspired me to make a pumpkin dessert. Oh, and the fact that we had accumulated so many heavy cans in our cabinet's lazy susan that it actually cracked in half and we're now trying to eat all the soup, salsa, chili and other miscellaneous canned goods we can.

Anyway, this dessert isn't fancy, but it was scrumptious. The frosting, with a combination of butter and cream cheese, was the perfect balance with the moist cake. I added far more spice than the recipe called for to kick it up a notch. My version of the recipe is below.

Cake Ingredients:
4 large eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-oz can pumpkin
2 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Icing Ingredients:
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (8 Tb) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar, sifted (one of the few times it's critical to sift)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Add all dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread batter into a greased 13" x 10" baking pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled bars. Cut into individual servings.

Yield: about 20 squares

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