Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Martelle Christian Church Pumpkin Bars

My mom grew up going to a little church in eastern Iowa. It was the kind that had a pot luck after church once a month, a Ladies' Aid society and that would send care packages to it's member's grandchildren when they went to college. Every so many years, this church also put out a cook book chalk full of delicious recipes. Nearly all of my favorite baking recipes comes from one of these books.

Our favorite is the the "pink cookbook" from 1995. It's called that because, well, it's pink. When Matt & I were married in 2006, I received my own copy of the "pink cookbook". The pages that contain my favorite recipes are stained with spilled ingredients, which I think only makes it that much better.

Most every fall, at some point, I get the need to make pumpkin bars. Last year, I was pregnant with Silas and it hit in July. I took my last bite of dinner and suddenly needed pumpkin bars. Like, now. I called my grandma to get the recipe and she asked if I'd tried the "pink cookbook". Duh. I, of course, found the recipe in said book & ran to the store to get the ingredients, hours later, I finally fulfilled my craving. Matt thought I'd completely lost it.

This year, not pregnant, not as compulsive, I was able to actually wait until the fall and work the ingredients into a grocery list. So, this morning, while Silas and the baby I babysit were napping, I gathered (most of) my ingredients and my awesome helper and whipped up a batch of some of the best pumpkin bars ever. Fortunately for you, I'm going to share the recipe with you. Your taste buds will thank you for making it.

Step 1
Find yourself an adorable helper. Preferably still pajama-clad.

Step 2
Gather your ingredients
(This picture is missing baking powder & my can of "frosting"**. I didn't realize we were out of baking powder & made a mayday call to my sister-in-law who was amazing & brought me baking powder AND M&M's within minutes of my texting her. Thanks, Sarah!)

Step 3
Share some Oreo's & milk with your adorable helper while you wait for the baking powder
(this step is optional)

 Step 4
Stir together dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Step 5
Add pumpkin, oil and eggs. Mix until smooth.

Step 6
Spread batter evenly in greased 10x15 inch jelly roll pan.

Step 7
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Step 8
When COOL (the italics are for me. I can never wait for it to cool!), spread with cream cheese frosting & devour enjoy!

Martelle Christian Church Pumpkin Bars
2 C flour
2 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 T pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin (Libby's is the best)
3/4 C oil
4 eggs

Stir together dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Add pumpkin, oil and eggs. Mix until smooth. Spread batter evenly in greased 10x15 inch jelly roll pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. When cool, spread with cream cheese frosting.

**I used canned "cream cheese" frosting. I say "cream cheese" because the canned version, apparently, does not actually contain cream cheese...or dairy of any kind. Silas has a milk allergy, so in order for him to be able to enjoy these bars in all their glory, I went with the fake stuff. If you'd like to make some real frosting, here's a bonus recipe.**

Cream Cheese Frosting
3 oz cream cheese, softened
6 T softened margarine
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2- 2 C sifted powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese, margarine, milk and vanilla. Blend in powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy.

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