Trick or Treat!
Treat! Treat! Treat! Especially if the treat is Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting.
The trick is that these are incredibly easy to put together. Use a mixer if you have one, or simply grab a bowl and spoon and start stirring.
These Pumpkin Bars are SUPER pumpkiny. They are dense and yet moist and tender. Something a bit like a brownie meets the inside of a pumpkin pie.
Here’s what you need:
Pumpkin, Oil, Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Eggs, Salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Cream Cheese, Butter, Powdered Sugar, and Walnuts.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl or mixer, combine 3 eggs with 1 cup of regular white sugar and 2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar.
Add 1 cup of oil – canola, vegetable, safflower, or any other light, unflavored salad oil.
Now for the good stuff…add 2 (15 ounce) cans of pumpkin.
Be sure to use plain pumpkin and not seasoned pumpkin pie filling.
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix everything together until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt,
2 teaspoons cinnamon,
1 teaspoon nutmeg and 1 teaspoon ground cloves.
Use a whisk to thoroughly combine all of the dry ingredients.
With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add the flour to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine.
Pour the pumpkin dough onto an ungreased 17 x 11 sheet pan. Use a spatula to smooth and level the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes until puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow the pumpkin bars to cool completely in the pan.
The cream cheese frosting needs softened cream cheese and butter at room temperature so set them out of the refrigerator while the pumpkin bars cool.
To make the frosting, combine 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1 stick (1/2 cup) of softened butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Mix the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together until smooth.
Sift 2 cups of powdered sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar) to remove any lumps. Sifting is important if you want smooth, creamy icing.
With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time to the butter/cream cheese mixture.
Keep mixing in the sugar until it is thoroughly combined and you have a spreadable consistency. You might need to add a bit more powdered sugar (1-2 Tablespoons) to get the right thickness.
If your icing gets too thick, add a teaspoon or two of milk to thin it out.
Spread the cream cheese icing over the cooled pumpkin bars.
Go lick the icing off the mixer beaters. You know you want to.
Top with 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.
Refrigerate the iced pumpkin bars for at least an hour or even overnight to allow the frosting to set up.
Cut into squares. Eat way too many. Share with friends.
Trick or Treat!
Here’s the recipe: