We are excited to share with all of you some of our favorite ways to make baking easier, or in today’s case healthier. Now that the colder weather has started to move in, it’s time to pull out your favorite recipes for the fall. One of my favorites is Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting (page 53 in Two Chicks from the Sticks - Back Home Baking).
The recipe as it is written in the book is what I consider fairly healthy, but my husband requested I make it “healthier” for a potluck that was taking place in his office. And to make matters even more difficult, I only had one night to make the proper adjustments to qualify it as “healthy”. I’m not one to back down from a challenge, so after a late night shopping trip and one large cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee we have “As-Low-As-You-Go Pumpkin Bars.”My husband reported back to me that the bars were delicious and received positive reviews. They were so good in fact, that a few people doubted that they were lower in fat and calories than the orignal version.
You be the judge, give both versions a try and let us know what you think.
Your favorite Chick from the South – Jamie
All low fat/low calorie adjustments are in parenthesis.
Pumpkin Bars w/ Cream Cheese Frosting
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (1 cup all-purpose flour & 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar (1 3/4 cups lightly packed brown sugar)
4 eggs, slightly beaten (4 egg whites and 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten)
1 can pumpkin or 14 ounces of fresh cooked pumpkin
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts only or no nuts at all)
1/2 cup chopped raisins (no raisins)
1. Grease a 20-in.x15-in.x1-in. baking pan; set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, & nutmeg.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, brown sugar and oil and mix together well combined.
4. Add the eggs slowly to the pumpkin mixture; mix well.
5. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients. Beat together until the batter is smooth.
6. Stir in nuts and/or raisins by hand (optional).
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese (6 ounces fat free or low fat cream cheese)
1/4 cup butter, softened (2 tablespoons butter, softened)
1/3 cup milk (1/3 cup fat free milk)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (scant 3 cups powdered sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
To prepare frosting, in a medium bowl, whip the cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar and milk alternating between the two until well combined. Add vanilla. Spread over the top of the cooled pumpkin bars.
Makes: 24 bars