September 14, 2014

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

At this time of year and since Fall begins on the 23rd I'm really thinking of anything I can make with pumpkin in it. This is a really moist bar with the most fabulous cream cheese frosting. It's soft, very creamy and perfect for a full pan of pumpkin or any other flavor of bars. This recipe makes a large pan so it's good for a potluck, family gathering or weekend crowd for football.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4 eggs
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
15 ounce can of pumpkin puree (not spiced pie filling)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt

Put the eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin and spice in a large bowl and mix with electric mixer until it gets nice and light (just takes 30 seconds or so).

In separate bowl whisk all the dry ingredients. Add dry flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat well until combined, but don't over mix.

Spray pan with baking spray and spread into a 13x18 sheet pan (jellyroll pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until it springs back when lightly pressed. Cool completely before frosting.

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the cream cheese and then add the butter and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and cream well, add vanilla and blend well. Frost cooled pumpkin bars.  If you cut into two and a half inch squares it makes about 40.

Other pumpkin favorites:

Mini Pumpkin Poppers

Healthy Pumpkin Shake

August 12, 2014

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

What can you do when a friend gives you zucchini? Make zucchini bread of course! I thought I should try something a little different and add a little pumpkin to the batter. I thought some more and a cinnamon sugar swirl came to mind and sounded really good. I will go over board if I can you know, so I added some chocolate chips and don't forget the chopped pecans for crunch. Mr. B said the crunch made the bread and don't change a thing it was perfect. O.K. then, that's good enough for me.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 cup grated zucchini (leave peel on)
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (either milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

For Cinnamon Swirl:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Wash, dry, and grate zucchini. Melt butter. Cream together zucchini, melted butter, eggs, sugar, and pumpkin. In separate small bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and blend together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir well. Add chips and pecans and mix until combined.

In a small bowl blend together the sugar and cinnamon for the swirl.

Spray 9X5X3 glass or metal loaf pan with baking spray. Pour in half the batter. Sprinkle all the sugar mixture except 1 to 2 tablespoons evenly over batter. Top with the other half of the batter and sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture. I sprinkled a few chocolate chips and some chopped pecans on top of the sugar mixture.

Bake on 350 for about an hour. A tip if you didn't know, usually metal pans bake faster and browner than glass so keep an eye on it if using a metal pan.

Let cool on the counter for 15 or 20 minutes and then gently turn out on to a cooling rack to cool completely before cutting.

August 5, 2014

Fresh Peach Salsa

I thought I better post a peach recipe this month since August is National Peach Month and peaches are one of my favorite fruit. The peach has it's origin in China where it is considered the tree of life and brides carry them in their bouquets. Peaches traveled to Persia, then to Greece and the Romans, then to the Spaniards who brought peaches to South America and the French introduced them to Louisiana.  The English took them to their Jamestown and Massachusetts colonies. Columbus brought peach trees over on his second and third voyages. You didn't know you were going to have a history lesson today did you.

Peaches are a good source of vitamin A, B, and C.  A medium peach is only 37 calories.  I know I can never get enough of them this time of year, fresh, juicy and sweet,  love em. Below are a few more links for two of my favorite peach recipes as well as some more info about fresh peaches.

1 1/2 cups peaches (ripe but still firm, skinned and chopped)
1 cup chopped roma tomatoes (seeded)
1 tablespoon jalapeƱo or milder pepper such as anaheim (seeded & chopped)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup red onion
1 lime juiced
1 tablespoon honey

Chop all ingredients and add to bowl. Juice lime and add honey in a small bowl. Add liquid to peach mixture and toss lightly until combined. Chill in refrigerator.

Two of my favorite peach recipes as well as more info on fresh peaches:

Rustic Peach Galette

Peach Crumb Bars

Fresh Peaches