In staring at the screen trying to decide what I want to say about these incredible Pumpkin Bars with Brown Sugar Frosting I got lost down a black hole.
I totally just fell into the internet trap. Suddenly I found myself drowning in a 10 minute Facebook abyss. Please tell me this happens to you too. I swear time stops when I find these distractions! I can be staring at the screen trying to work on something for a few minutes and it feels like an eternity passed. Then what feels like a few minutes on Facebook, Pinterest, or any celebrity gossip rag and an hour can pass like NOTHING. It’s actually kind of alarming.
Luckily I caught myself this time and forced my computer mouse to close out of all extra tabs. Well, except maybe one or two. I had to get back to this pumpkin recipe because I just gotta tell you how bad you need to make these. Firstly, they make your house smell like autumn on crack. Secondly, they are a total crowd pleaser. So much so that I can pretty much guarantee everyone will want seconds. You may need to double the recipe!
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Taste: Spiced sweetness that isn’t cloying or overwhelming.
Texture: The bars are thick and soft without being overly cakey. The frosting is luscious and creamy with a slight crunch from the brown sugar. It’s kind of like cookie dough!
Ease: Super easy, just dirties a few dishes.
Pros: Easy and crowd pleasing fall treat.
Would I make this again? Absolutely!
How to make Pumpkin Bars with Brown Sugar Frosting
Yield: 9 large or 16 small bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
This recipe is easily doubled for a crowd!
For the bars:
1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (7.5 ounces) pumpkin puree
For the frosting:
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk, plus more if needed
To make the bars:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 8 by 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang.
In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
In another medium bowl whisk together the butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and smooth. Add in the cinnamon and salt. On low speed gradually add in the powered sugar until incorporated. Add in the vanilla and milk and increase the speed to medium-high. Beat until very light and fluffy. If too runny, add more powered sugar, If too thick, add more milk. Spread evenly all over the pumpkin bars.
Cut into squares before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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