It is officially fall in our house now that I have made the first batch of pumpkin bars of the season. Even though fall supposedly starts at the end of September I cannot really get into the swing of the season until October 1st. Which means that I cannot buy and light pumpkin scented candles, use slippers in the house, or make the first batch of pumpkin bars until at least the first weekend of October.
I know it might seem a little weird, but have you noticed that the second August is over retail stores are putting up Halloween decorations and costumes only to take them all down by mid September and replace them with Christmas decorations?! I mean come on now people it just turned fall let’s stick it out a little bit and savor the season. Sheesh. As a result I hold out till the first of October to feel autumn take over my senses.
Luckily, my mom is the same way. She waits until mid-October early November to bake these deliciously soft and pumpkin-y goodies. I however, cannot wait that long. I mean come on, just look how good it looks.
The moment I smell the scent of pumpkin and cinnamon wafting through the brisk air of my kitchen and throughout the rest of the house, immediately things feel like fall. This week the weather will begin to cool down even more and the nights are already chilly. I cannot wait until late October when I can wear slippers and sweatshirts around the house and not start sweating moments after putting them on.
Anyways on to the good stuff. Here is the recipe I use for these little beauties, but I will mention that I add a few ingredients that add a little something-something and give it the umph it needs to feel more like autumn.
- 4 eggs
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 pinches of light brown sugar * (secret ingredient #1)
- 1 cap full of vanilla extract* (secret ingredient #2)
Icing: Make it from scratch or be lazy & pick up a can from the the grocery store
- 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.
To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.
This recipe comes courtesy of Ms. Paula Deen but I like the adapted version I use better because it has always came through for me. Just look how delicious they turned out…
Now for a close up.