I love all-things-pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin ravioli, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin in salads, and even just staring at hundreds of pumpkins displayed on a farm for picking. (Why do I feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump right now? “shrimp salad… shrimp creole… shrimp scampi… ) They just smile Fall and cute and cozy to me. I had a small group for Thanksgiving this year, and I wanted to do something different for dessert, and pumpkin pie was just too conventional. So I turned to the Food Network for ideas: Voila. Paula Deen. The queen. And she didn’t disappoint. (Does she ever?) With over 630 positive reviews, I had to check it out. This recipe has tons of pumpkiny moist goodness, then topped with that awesome tang from cream cheese icing. A pumpkin recipe match made in heaven. So moist, a hint of spice. It took me immediately to my dreamy pumpkin patch.
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.