12/27/08

Swirled Pumpkin Bars

Although I absolutely love my pumpkin bar recipe (available under 'bars' in the search labels to your right) I love pumpkin bars so much that I always keep my eyes open for more versions. Another love of mine is cream cheese. I decided way back in high school that cream cheese was one of my all time favorite foods because of the endless possibilities it affords. It can be added in casseroles, soups, sauces, desserts, dips and appetizers... anything! I love it just as much as I love onions... and that's a lot!

This recipe is from Sunset magazine and is about 6 years old since they published it, but far older as it's one of those recipes that has been made by our Mothers, Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers for generations and published in numerous church cookbooks and handwritten on scads of recipe cards. There is just something about pumpkin bars that makes you want to sit down at the kitchen table with one or two bars and a steaming hot cup of coffee.



Swirled Pumpkin Bars


6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature


In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs, pumpkin, and 1/3 cup water until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. In another bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg; stir or beat into butter mixture until well blended. Spread batter evenly in a buttered and floured 10- by 15-inch baking pan.

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, remaining egg, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth.

Drop cream cheese mixture in 24 evenly spaced 1-tablespoon portions over batter. Pull a knife tip through filling to swirl slightly into batter.

Bake in a 350° oven until center of pumpkin springs back when touched, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, then cut into 24 bars.
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