Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cinnamon-Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

I know there was reportedly a pumpkin shortage this holiday season, but in my house, you wouldn't have known it! When I decided to make these bars, I didn't need to go to the store to buy pumpkin. I had 3 cans sitting in my pantry. I'm that way about a lot of things. I don't let my ingredients get depleted. It's the girl scout at heart in me, despite never actually having done Girl Scouts. Nothing is worse than being mid-recipe and running out of something, or being in the mood to bake, but having to go to the store because you don't already have the ingredients in stock. Even as my flour bin is half full, I already have another unopened bag ready to go. Same with sugar. Same with peanut butter. Same with pumpkin. I used up part of one can on this recipe, which means I've still got at least two more baked goods to make before the holidays are over. That won't be difficult.

These bars are a moist cake, not too tall, though I suppose if you baked them in a smaller pan for a little longer, you could have taller bars. The cream cheese frosting is a nice addition. I don't normally make cream cheese frosting because it's fattening, but it was such a thin layer spread on the bars that I was willing, and it really did make a difference. I served these at a potluck dinner, and then brought the leftovers to work. They were a hit with everyone!

Cinnamon-Pumpkin Bars
Recipe by Beatrice Ojakangas in Light and Easy Baking

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 13 x 9 inch pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom with wax paper or parchment paper and spray again.

In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, egg, sugar, oil, and sour cream. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and mix until well blended. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. When the bars are cooled, spread with the frosting. Cut into bars to serve.

Makes 24 bars.

Step-by-Step in Pictures

Combine pumpkin, egg, sugar, oil, and sour cream...

Stir until well blended...

Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl...

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture...

Pour into a greased 9x13-inch pan and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes...

Prepare the frosting by mixing together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla...

Spread the frosting over the completely cooled pumpkin bars using an offset spatula...

This is what I'm talking about!


Mom said...

These look so delicious! And they even sound low enough in calories that I could have seconds and thirds if I like them! Can't wait to try them when you bring me a sample on your trip to the Bay Area starting tomorrow!!! :-)

Marni said...

Mom - Yup, they're a keeper. Low-guilt, high-yum.

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