Thursday, December 1, 2011


When I post a recipe I try to add some personal touches or changes to the recipe. With these Pumpkin Bars, I find there is nothing I can add as these are really perfect as they are. Proof of the recipe's perfection was the way the Pumpkin Bars flew off the tray at my Grandson's Senior Recital at Grand Valley State University last week.
Grandson Brad and his Intented, Jera at his Senior Recital.  Jera played the piano for his recital.  It was her Junior Recital.  She is a piano major.

Brad, his sister Erin, mom Christy and his high school band director, Mr Z, in the background.

Christy made finger-sandwiches and arranged them to look like piano keys.  She hasn't figured out how to do a Saxophone yet.

I first saw this recipe in a Better Homes and Garden magazine in the 1970's.  I remember cutting it out. It was tucked up against the middle fold making it easy to miss and difficult to cut out.  The recipe calls for a cup of oil which has become a no-no.  However the batter is baked in a big pan, 10x15-inches, which makes a big batch of bars.  If you want to reduce the amount of oil, you can substitute up to 3/4 of the oil with unsweetened applesauce.  I was making this batch for a large gathering and I cut bars into small pieces so they were finger-food; therefore no one received a big "hit" of oil to their digestive system.

I freeze a jar of applesauce in pressed flat in a freezer bag.  Because I flatten the applesauce in the bag, I am able to break off pieces and I don't have to defrost the whole bag when I just need a half of a cup or so.

A few years ago I had a fantastic assistant who took a Wilton cake decorating class at a department store and started her own business making wedding cakes.  She told me to always add a pinch of salt to frostings.  Lorri lost her battle with brain cancer at a much too young age.  So in memory of Lorri, I always add a pinch of salt to my frostings including this one.

An easy, delicious, very moist bar cookie with a yummy cream cheese frosting, these always disappear quickly at any gathering. Pumpkin bars are the most popular version of this recipe, but the mincemeat bars are equally as good. I like to add extra chopped apple to the mincemeat.
4 eggs
1 2/3 c sugar
1 c oil
1 (16oz.) can pumpkin or mincemeat
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients together except sugar; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy.  To the eggs, add sugar, oil and pumpkin or mincemeat; beat well. Slowly add dry ingredients to the egg mixture; mix well. Spread batter into greased (I use non-stick cooking spray) 15x10-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when put into the cake about an inch from the center. Cool. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

1 (3oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c butter, softened
1 t vanilla
2 c powdered sugar
A pinch of salt for Lorri
In a bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Add vanilla and beat well.  Add powdered sugar and salt; beat until frosting is smooth.  Frost cooled bars with frosting.


Ingredients:  Flour, sugar, vegetable oil, pumpkin, cinnamon, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Put all the dry ingredients except sugar in a bowl.

Mix well.

Spray a 10x15-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Put the eggs in a mixing bowl.  Beat well.

Add oil, pumpkin, and sugar to the eggs and beat well.

Looking good.

Add dry ingredients and mix well.

Batter ready for the pan.

Pour batter into a greased 10x15-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when put into the cake about an inch from the center.

Put baked bars on a wire rack to cool.

Ingredients:  Butter, cream cheese, vanilla, powdered sugar and salt.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy.

Add vanilla and mix well.

Add powdered sugar and salt.  Beat well.  Tom never took blurry pictures but I sure do.

Frosting is ready.

Put frosting onto the pan of cooled bars.

Spread frosting to cover.

Beautiful and delicious!

Cut bars to desired size and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

1 comment:

  1. One of my classmates from the Class of 1961 told me to add some grated lemon rind to the cream cheese frosting. I can't wait to try that tip.