Sunday, November 21

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookie Bars

This past week goes down in history as the first (yes, VERY first) time I have ever cooked an actual pumpkin. It was a momentous occasion...I almost felt like a criminal as I split the guy in half and stuck him in a 400 degree oven. The friendly orange "family member" sat so sweetly on our bookshelf for a few weeks ...much admired by a pumpkin lover such as me. It was a tragic process but well worth the plentiful bounty that came from it. Not only did I get more than a can equivalent of pumpkin puree but I also roasted pumpkin seeds for the first time and, can I say...I love pumpkin seeds.

The past week also marked the start of my tendency to turn orange. Yep, it's that time of year that I have to be conscious of how much beta carotene I consume. If I don't, I am liable to turn, as I like to call it- a golden hue...or as others claim- (laughing the whole time) a putrid orange!!!! Just kidding, no one has ever called it that, but I am not kidding about having to be careful of turning orange. P has said that the tint is developing already...

A recipe that has been on my "to make list" for a VERY long time is sugar cookie bars. They look intriguing enough to say, "yeah, those are fun looking" but when it came down to it, a sugar cookie is just so boring to me. Well, after roasting and pureeing my first pumpkin I decided to give this pumpkin rendition a go. I am not sure what all the hype is about. After making these, I concluded- a sugar cookie is a sugar cookie whether you make it in drop form, bar form, pie form, or even RARE form...
This was not intended to be on the test baking for Christmas treats so I won't be giving it a review other than, if you like sugar cookies- go ahead, make 'em. If you are indifferent- I wouldn't waist the expensive butter! :)

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookie Bars
recipe from: Good Life Eats

For the bars:
1 cup butter; room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin
6 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For the Buttercream:
1/2 cup butter; room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
food coloring (if desired)


For the bars:
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Add vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, and cloves. Stir the flour mixture with a whisk to combine. Add half of the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix just until combined. Then add the pumpkin puree, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Spread on a greased 13x18 inch baking pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-20 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and frost.
For the frosting:
Combine butter and shortening until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined, then add milk & mix until smooth and spreading consistency. Spread over cooled cookie.

Note: A half recipe fits well in a 9x13 inch pan, though when I tested this the baking time was slightly longer.

I know I must have seemed like a Debbie downer when giving my opinion on these. For the record P thought they were pretty good! I REALLY enjoyed the homemade pumpkin puree part! and extremely thankful the recipe only called for 1/2 cup of it!

Hope everyone has a safe, enjoyable, fun filled Turkey Day!! I will be busy trying not to turn orange!!

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