Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pumpkin bars and Thanksgiving

R. and I hosted our first Thanksgiving together and had 9 friends over for the big meal. One of the sides was mashed sweet potatoes with lavender--it's a recipe that R. has made a few times but I'm not sure where he got it. Everything was delicious. This Winter Fruit and Nut stuffing has no pumpkin or squash in it, but it is now my favorite stuffing recipe. (Sorry, dad! He makes a great stuffing with clam juice in it, but I think this new recipe will be my T-Day contribution for years to come). The only thing I did differently was just use 8 tablespoons of butter instead of the 12(!). Still plenty moist. We cooked the stuffing separate from the turkey, which I guess makes it dressing, to accommodate the vegetarian guest.

For dessert, we had an apple strudel brought my a friend and pumpkin bars made by me. Sadly, I don't have a single photograph of the cooking, the meal, any of the people, or any of the food. The pumpkin bar recipe is the one I grew up with; I'm pretty sure my mom got the recipe when we lived in Missouri.

Pumpkin Bars (with cream cheese frosting)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

4 eggs
1 2/3 C sugar
1 C oil
15 oz can pumpkin

Sift together:
2 C sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Combine pumpkin mixture and dry mixture. Spread in greased 16 x 11 in jelly roll pan. Bake 25 – 30 min at 350 degrees. Frost when cool and cut into bars 1 in x 2 in.

3 oz cream cheese
½ C butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 C sifted powdered sugar

Cream Butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and vanilla. Mix well.

My mom has made adjustments to the recipe, such as using 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites, but I just used the original one. The only difference is I did *not* use canned pumpkin -- I used some of the frozen pureed pumpkin. I had a 2 cup bag, which is a little more than 15 ounces, but I also let the pumpkin drain which reduced the quantity a little.

I had meant to decrease the amount of oil because the fresh pumpkin, even after draining, has more liquid than the canned, but I forgot. The bars turned out perfectly! As did the frosting. I had some issues putting the frosting on the bars -- the spatula tried to pull up the top layer of the bars and make the frosting look crumby. But I didn't hear any complaints. The bars actually lasted until Saturday, but that may because there were only 3 of us here--half of them disappeared by the end of Thursday.

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