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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Best Ever Pumpkin Bars


I know, I know... everyone claims they have the best ever recipe for lots of things. But I promise you, once you make these, you will be able to claim it as well... that you've just made the best ever pumpkin bars! Up until now, I have kept this recipe closely guarded. It's been the recipe I grew up with, my mom used to start making these every fall. Once I was on my own, I was known for my pumpkin bars at {other side} family or work events. But, then I caved and gave it to my bestie Sue. I figured we'd been friends since we were 10, she deserved it. And my bestie Jill because well, she's my bestie. They are the only two so this is a big step for me! This recipe is also interchangeable with bananas for excellent banana bars. See notes in recipe.

So here it is folks! Make a few batches and watch them disappear quickly. Revel in the accolades at your work or family functions. Make them all jealous a few times before you share the recipe. ;)

Pumpkin Bars (printable version)

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 - 15oz can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 sticks melted butter
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a jelly roll pan (15 1/8"x 10 1/2") with cooking spray. Mix eggs, sugar, pumpkin and butter in a large bowl or stand mixer bowl. Sift dry ingredients together and combine with pumpkin mixture. Pour and smooth evenly in pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
9 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla 
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp milk

Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla, add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and milk 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

For Banana Bars: substitute 1 can of pumpkin puree for 2 cups mashed ripe bananas. Omit cinnamon and ginger, but use a pinch of nutmeg. 
yummy banana bars!
I've also used this recipe to make a cake with 2 round pans, bake for approximately the same amount of time but start checking at the 25 minute mark. I've also made cupcakes with this recipe and my baking time was 18 minutes.

I hope you & yours enjoy them as much as we have through the years!

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