by Téalin Robinson

Rather than attempting the classic pumpkin roll, which should really remain as the original winter season chocolate Buche de Noel, my grandmother decided to spice things up by creating pumpkin bars instead. As one of her favorite autumn recipes, and one of mine also, I simply had to share her secret for constructing these delicious bars. They have a more light, cakey texture, rather than your usual dense layer bars. Due to its versatility for occasions, these pumpkin bars are perfect for sweet snacks, fall desserts or as a small breakfast treat. When warmed with a drizzle of icing or topped with whipped cream, these bars go well with a tall glass of milk, or a fresh cup of coffee.

Pumpkin Bars Ingredients:

1 cup shortening

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 c chopped walnuts

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp allspice

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups flour

½ tsp ginger

1 cup dried coconut

Icing:

2 cups powdered sugar

Milk of your preference

2 tsp vanilla

To begin, beat the eggs and set aside. Cream the shortening and the vanilla together until combined. Then add the sugar and beat the mixture until fluffy. Add the beaten eggs and the pumpkin. Next, stir the flour and the spices slowly into the creamed mixture until it’s smooth, for about 3 minutes. Once the mixture is without lumps, fold in the coconut and the nuts. Spread the mixture into a greased 10×6-inch pan, and bake it at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

While the bars are cooling, make the glaze to go on top. The bars taste just as wonderful with a scoop of whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Making the glaze is fairly simple; begin by sifting the powdered sugar to remove any lumps. Then add the milk of your preference (I use skim milk since it is thinner) to the powdered sugar creating a runny consistency. Then add a touch of vanilla. I prefer to use 2 tsp for the full vanilla effect, but the amount added is up to you. Finally, drizzle the glaze over cooled bars, and enjoy.

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