Thursday, November 25, 2010

Easy Pumpkin Bar Recipe

Here's an easy recipe if you have an extra can of pumpkin sitting around. I posted recipes last Thanksgiving, so maybe this will become an annual tradition. This recipe actually came in a flyer from a local bank, so not all junk mail is bad!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar (I used slightly less, I admit)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple juice (I didn't have any, so I substituted apricot nectar - hey, it was in my pantry!)
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin (not the pre-seasoned pumpkin pie mix)
2 eggs

*NOTE: If you don't have 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, you can substitute 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. cloves.

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease & flour a 15x10x1-inch pan. (As you can see from the photo below, I didn't have that size pan, so I improvised.)

In a large bowl, beat all the ingredients together with an electric mixer until combined. (The original recipe said "on low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed," but who has the patience for that?) Spread batter in pan.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely (about 1 hour). I admit that I didn't wait that long before tasting.
IMG_1820 Pumpkin Bar
Finishing touches - The original recipe suggested using a 16-oz. container of ready-made cream cheese frosting to be applied after the pumpkin bar has cooled for an hour. Then it said you should refrigerate the whole thing for another 30 minutes "until set." Honestly, who can wait for that!? Assuming you have leftovers, you should store them in the fridge.

I'm not a big frosting fan, and I found it fine without topping. I did briefly consider spreading pecan pumpkin butter on it, but decided that was overkill! Happy Thanksgiving!
Pumpkin Overdose - November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Help support arts education in Fond du Lac

Even if you don't live in Fond du Lac or even Wisconsin, please take a moment to vote for the proposal my friend Mel's group Fond du Lac Visual Arts has submitted to the Pepsi Refresh contest. They are in the running for $25,000 but they need to get into the top 10 entries to win. You can vote every day through November 30, 2010. When you click on the "vote" button, you will be asked to register with your e-mail address and create a password.

You can read Mel's blog post about it here.
Please vote daily!
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