October 30, 2011

Stocking Your Freezer: Pumpkin Bars

The holidays are upon us.  Halloween is tomorrow and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  It's also the time of year to start baking.  And who doesn't love to bake!  Problem:  Baking takes time.  Solution:  Bake once and freeze!  Today, I'm making pumpkin bars for a little shindig after our neighborhood Halloween Parade.  But I'm doubling the recipe so all I have to do next time is pull the bars out of the freezer, whip up some icing and voila!  And a big shout out to my girlfriend, Katie Cook Guymon, for bringing these bars into my life.

Pumpkin Bars (recipe courtesy of Paula Deen)
Ingredients
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 package cream cheese (8 oz), softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
--Preheat oven to 350 degrees
--Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine eggs, granulated sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.
--In a separate bowl, 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 combined and the batter is smooth.
--Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10 inch baking pan.
--Bake for 30 mins.
--While bars are cooling, combine the cream cheese and butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
--Add the confectioners' sugar and mix at low speed until combined.
--Stir in the vanilla and mix again.
--After the pumpkin bars are done cooling, frost and cut into bars.  Or cut into bars and then frost.

Note:  Curious as how to freeze?  Once they are cool, I'll wrap in saran wrap real tight and then place in a freezer bag for future use.  When you are ready to use, just let them defrost at room temperature overnight.

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