~more recently updated recipes~
2007 ORIGINAL POST The Daring Bakers, they're killing me. Last week, I was mining my favorite baking cookbook, the much-beloved Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan and I swear, without thinking, found myself in the index checking the Ds for Daring. You see, the Daring Bakers are a group of passionate blogging bakers from across the world who each month, from their own kitchens, cream and caramelize and create the same spectacular somethings. If you were "anywhere" in the food blog world yesterday, yum, did you see those cinnamon buns and sticky buns? These guys really love to bake and it shows.
Me, I love-love-love to bake too, though lean to 'simple', my own definition of spectacular -- especially cakes and cookies and bars and desserts baked on a whim with pantry ingredients. Enter these simple pumpkin bars. (1) Yes, there really is a 'vegetable' in there so the recipe does qualify for a food blog full of vegetable recipes. (2) Yes, you can really put vegetables into desserts. They're about an inch tall, with just the right cake-iness, just the right sweetness, just the right mix of fall spices.
2011 UPDATE How does a baking pan just disappear? I couldn't find my 9x9 pan so instead of making bars, I baked the batter in the six cups of a giant-size muffin tin -- that yielded six small cakes, not muffins, real cakes, what I like to call "tea cakes" -- that looked pretty and tasted oh-so-good. This is a great recipe!
"These are soooo good." ~ Rachael
"... these bars were GREAT." ~ Cordelia
"... soooo yummy! " ~ Randi
"...they are to DIE for." ~ Anonymous
"... they were delicious." ~ Gayarithi
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 12 bars or 6 tea cakes
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (120g) brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup (80g) canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup 100% whole wheat or all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 63g
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
(quantities are for the THICK icing, make less if you prefer to drizzle, as is recommended)
1/4 cup butter, melted (for drizzling, I suggest 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon vanilla (try 1/4 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon milk (try a scant teaspoon)
About 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (try 1/3 cup)
BARS Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with baking spray. If making tea cakes in a muffin tin, spray extra well.
Cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer til soft. Add the egg and beat for 1 minute. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and beat until well mixed.
Stir together the remaining ingredients and mix into the wet mixture just until barely mixed. Pour into a prepared baking pan and bake for about 15 minutes (25 for 6 tea cakes). Remove from oven, let cool.
ICING Mix the butter, vanilla milk. Stir in the powdered sugar until icing reaches desired consistency. Drizzle with icing, cut into pieces and serve.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
- 2007 The inspiring recipe called for a 9x13 pan. For a 9x9, I halved all the ingredients except the vanilla and spices. This is a great technique - cut a 9x13 recipe in half to cut down the number of portions. But don't cut the vanilla and spices and other flavorings in half, this really bumps up the flavor.
- 2007 The inspiring recipe called for browning the butter for the icing. The browned-butter flavor taste was hardly noticeable even with a LOT of icing, so I'd recommend skipping this step, especially if you go with the 'drizzle' idea.
- 2011 I used not canned pumpkin but roasted kabocha squash, see How to Roast a Whole Pumpkin. By accident, I used a full half cup of pumpkin, it was not too much. I have the idea this is quite a forgiving recipe.
- 2011 I also switched from plain flour to all whole wheat flour, this time the very finely ground flour from Bob's Red Mill. It worked great, no telling the difference.
- 2011 I threw in some black walnuts and also thought about adding dried currants or some dried cranberries. This recipe is begging for your own inspiration, let it fly freely!
- 2011 The tea cakes were so tender and delicate, they were slightly fussy to remove from the muffin cups. Be sure to grease them really well and let the tea cakes cool completely before removing. Even then, use a gentle touch, slipping a knife down the sides to loosen, then gently lifting out of the muffin cup.
Today's pumpkin bars are dedicated to my Canadian family who will be celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving next weekend and are already beginning to search for Thanksgiving vegetable recipes and other favorite Thanksgiving recipes, including, the best part of Thanksgiving, eating up the leftovers! Don't miss out on the World's Best Green Bean Casserole and my own two favorites from my 2006 collection of Thanksgiving vegetable recipes, the Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes and Creamy Carrot Purée.
~ How to Roast a Whole Pumpkin ~
~ Stuffed Pumpkin with Apple & Cranberry ~
~ Honey Pumpkin Pie ~
~ more pumpkin recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Autumn Pumpkin Bread ~
~ Perfect Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins ~
~ Fall Stew Baked in a Whole Pumpkin ~
~ more pumpkin recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2007