I'm so excited, as I'm sure you are as well. The weather outside here is so nice and it means all that summer weather is around the corner! It just puts me in a good mood. For the blog, summer weather means some good fresh recipes as well. Recipes with all those in-season fresh fruits, pasta salads that will go to BBQs, pies, and then towards the end of the season all those fresh garden veggies. Pure bliss...and I can't wait! Until then here is an awesome recipe, by Paula Dean. I must admit, I love all things pumpkin and cream cheese definitely tops my list of "favorites" for frostings. So, this is the perfect combination. The recipe is also easy to follow and make. Enjoy this wonderful weather...and enjoy this recipe! :)
::Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting::
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
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.
The sugar, eggs, oil....
and pumpkin of course.
Blend all together.
To get this lovely mixture.
Then onto the "dry" ingredients. Whisk together.
So, why a picture of the bowl? Story time! I had never met my husband's grandma (his dad's mom) and after his grandpa passed away they were cleaning out the house to get it ready to be sold. Well, they had some boxes that they were just going to throw out or giveaway because no one wanted the items. Well, one of the boxes happened to be bowls. They were the classic thick mixing bowls (the white glass inside with a color or design on the outside). I ended up saying that I'd take that box if they weren't going to do anything with it. I ended up learning from my father-in-law that his mother loved to cook/bake and she always had a fresh pan of bars when you were there. I was told that I would have gotten along with her very well. Anyways, this yellow bowl (as shown above) is one of those bowls and I use it all the time. When I use it I think of her and all the batches of brownies, cookies, you-name-it, that were made in that bowl. Who knew a bowl, out of all things, could be so special? :)
The batter ready for the pan.
Place in a greased pan.
Spread out evenly.
And now for the frosting!
Oops...minus the one cream cheese. Only had 1. I think I got a little cream cheese happy!
....Just beat it! (Sing it!)
Start adding powdered sugar.
Clear vanilla. You can use the regular brown vanilla but I just have clear on hand for when I make cakes; so the frosting doesn't get discolored and stays a nice white!
mmmm...cream cheese frosting!
Ready to spread on the bars.
When I frost bars I had "blobs" on the bars instead of just dumping the whole thing in one area. It makes it easier for frosting.
This is optional. But for looks I sprinkled on some walnuts.
Cut. Eat. Enjoy.
Can you resist?