Cider mills, apples, cinnamon, doughnuts, sweaters, jeans, boots, leaves, football, tailgate parties, pies, soups, stews, chili…those are what come to mind when I think of fall. The air turns nice and crisp and I am immediately reminded of fall in Michigan, with all of the beautiful leaves and the perfect weather to leave the house wearing jeans, a sweater, cute boots and a scarf. My all-time favorite outfit.
Another item that always comes to mind when I think of fall always puts a huge smile on my face. As soon as the first of October arrives, I immediately take out my fall decor from the storage closet and begin placing these beautiful little gems all around the house. I have quite the collection already and I’m always picking up more whenever I go to the store. What item might this be? The pumpkin, of course.
I love pumpkins. I love everything about them. I love their various colors, shapes and sizes. I love picking one at the local market, wrapping my arms around it and giving it a huge hug. I love the pumpkin guts. I love giving it a cute pumpkin face. I love placing a candle in it and watching its face come to life. I love everything about pumpkins and I cannot get enough of them.
Do you know what else I love about pumpkins? They taste great. Pumpkin can be added to a variety of dishes and, when completed, the finished product always looks and tastes exactly like fall…my absolute favorite season.
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 eggs
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin with a mixer until light and fluffy.
- Pour flour, powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda into another bowl and mix.
- Pour flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and mix until incorporated and smooth.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish and level out the batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the dish or frosting.
- Frost the bars when they have cooled — To make the frosting: Combine cream cheese and butter in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add the sugar slowly until you reach the desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla.
What is your favorite pumpkin treat to enjoy during the fall season?
* Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen