The weather was so crisp and lovely this past weekend that I decided to accept autumn's arrival. I had a hard time letting go of summer this year. Maybe it's because I was confined to my home to care for a newborn for a lot of it. Anyway, acceptance feels good. It is never fun to fight reality. So, along with autumn comes all of that delicious fall food, which is one of the best things about this season, in my opinion.
These pumpkin bars scream fall to me. And they are so, so scrumptious. And super easy to make. And I wish I could even begin to describe in words how deliciously wonderful they smell when baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine:
1 2/3 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
Mix with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.
In a small bowl, stir together:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined.
Divide batter between one 9x13 pan and one 9x9 pan, both ungreased. The batter will be about an inch high. Spread evenly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
While waiting for the bars to cool, prepare the frosting.
Cream together with an electric hand mixer:
1 3-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Spread evenly onto cooled bars and cut into squares.