or My Favorite Thing My Wife Makes For Me That I Eat Too Much Of Too Quickly. But that title was too long, I thought.
I do most of the cooking around hte house, but my wife does make a couple of things, and I let her. I’m not about to start making pumpkin bars and have her decide not to do them anymore… I’m a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them.
The pumpkin bars themselves are from my wife’s grandmother, and they’re good, but my wife made them considerably better… by using butter! One truism I’ve discovered in life is that just about anything can be improved by adding one of two things: bacon and/or butter. Bacon in pumpkin bars wouldn’t quite fly, but these bars are right in the butter-improving zone.
The original recipe called for vegetable oil, but we were out, so she substituted, wisely, melted butter instead. Yum! The old recipe was fine, this and a few other slight changes really made a difference. Before this go around, the pumpkin bar part of the dessert was little more than a transport mechanism to get cream cheese icing to my taste buds. This time, the pumpkin bar is great on its own (but best with the cream cheese icing!).
Here’s the recipe for the bars:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter
Set the above mixture aside, then mix together:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp fresh nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp cassia (cinnamon)
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 small can pumpkin (original recipe called for 1 1/3 cups, but she just used the whole can)
Once mixed, add the second mixture to the first.
Grease (or use Pam) a 9″X13″ pan, add the batter, and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees F.
If you like your bars a bit thinner, you can also halve the recipe.
The bars are only part of the whole, though. They would taste good with nothing more, but there’s a way to make them so much better. There are some things in life where one plus one equals more than two, and this is one of them. Cream cheese icing means that these bars rise above the combination of the ingredients to become a sublime part of autumn.
Cream cheese icing ingredients:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 lb butter (one stick), at room temperature
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
Mix cream cheese and butter until thoroughly mixed, then slowly add the powdered sugar while continuing to mix. Add the vanilla at the end, and you’re all set!
Once the pumpkin bars are cooled at least enough so the pan can be handled, the icing can be put on top. Prior to my wife’s recipe changes, that would mean the bars would soon also be gone, but the use of the melted butter makes this just rich enough that I now have to pace myself!
She does a great job icing the bars, so I thought I’d end with a few shots showing how she ices the bars, as some people have problems getting the icing spread without messing up the bars. The offset icing spatula does help. These are so good, and really taste like the holiday season is here.
Now I’m off to have another pumpkin bar!