It’s time for another Cooking with Alicia & Annie post! Considering the time of year, I decided to go with pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. I really wish these were scratch-and-taste pictures. Yum. Yum. Yum! I took plates to several friends, which was a very good thing. As it was, I ate way too many of these delicious morsels.
I didn’t change as many things as I did with the Peach Crisp (I almost re-wrote that recipe), but I did decrease the amount of sugar by 1/4 cup, and the oil by half. I just could not in good conscience put a whole cup of oil in the batter. I also decreased the amount of nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, which are pretty strong spices. The measurements for the cream cheese frosting were a little off, so I changed those, too.
for the bars:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 15- oz can pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix
- 1/2 cup oil
for the cream cheese frosting:
- 1 8- oz package cream cheese room temperature
- 1/3 cup butter room temperature
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar start with 4, and add up to 1 more cup if needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 teaspoons milk
- Heat your oven to 350. Line a 10×15-inch baking sheet with foil, with the short ends folded over the sides, and spray the foil with non-stick spray.
- Combine all of the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix on low until everything is combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking sheet and spread it evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- While the bars are cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, and mix on low until it’s mostly combined. Add the vanilla and 2 teaspoons of the milk. Mix on low for 60 seconds; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix on medium-low until the frosting is very smooth and creamy. If it seems too wet add a little more powdered sugar; if it seems like it is too thick and will be hard to spread, add another teaspoon of milk. Be careful, though; cream cheese frosting is gooey by nature, so it can be tricky to know when you have the right consistency. If in doubt, try spreading some on the bars.