Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Bars Recipe

The Thanksgiving gifts that I received from my second grade students this year include a gorgeous bouquet of fall flowers, a loaf of homemade banana bread, some lovingly made hand turkeys, and lots of hugs.   Many years ago one of the teacher gifts I received was a plate of Pumpkin Bars.  I remember this because, besides being moist and flavorful, these treats included a handwritten recipe card complete with the date (November 1994).

Today I am enjoying Thanksgiving Eve by reading, catching up with my own children, baking, and reminiscing.  Eighteen years ago, when I first encountered this recipe, I was in my fourth year of teaching, lived in my home state of Maryland, and was happily married with no children.  Now I am returning to teaching after a 14 year maternity leave, live in the sunny state of Texas, and am still happily married with four fabulous kids.  Wow!  Baking these bars has reminded me to be thankful for each moment and has reinforced the power that a good recipe has to evoke fond memories.

This recipe creates an autumnal dessert that is basic and scrumptious.  The bars are moister than pumpkin cake, but firmer than pumpkin pie.  I baked them in my recently purchased Pampered Chef stoneware large bar pan and finished them off with a dusting of powdered sugar.  Some members of my family believe our Pumpkin Bars would be better with a thick layer of creamed cheese frosting, but I like the  simplicity of the powdered sugar.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for all of the students I have had the privilege of teaching, the joy I get from baking, and for relaxing times with my family.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Bars Recipe

4 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie spice (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 15 1/2 x 10 inch bar pan* with PAM for baking spray. 
  3. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin. Beat well.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices).
  5. Gently mix dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture until fully combined.
  6. Spread mixture into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  8. Cool completely, dust with powdered sugar, and cut into bars.
*You may also use a half sheet pan which is also known as a cookie sheet with sides.  The larger the pan the thinner the bars and the less time the recipe will need to bake.  A jelly roll pan would be too small.  A Pampered Chef stoneware large bar pans works perfectly.

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1 comment:

  1. These look really good. I agree with the simplicity of the powdered sugar too.
    Thanks for sharing at Think Tank Thursday. I hope to see you tomorrow night.