Officially, fall 2011 does not start until next Friday. However, fall for me started September. 1 (and the fact that the day was only 100 degrees is a small detail). When we moved into the new apartment (which is lovely btw, I need to post pics of it!), I decided to go ahead and set out my fall hand soaps and candles. Our place smells sooo yummy!
September 1st was my unofficial start to fall. My official start to fall was yesterday, which was the first day of the Morton Pumpkin Festival. My hometown, Morton, claims to be the Pumpkin Capitol of the World. We have a Nestle pumpkin plant where they can pumpkin in the fall. If you ever visit in late August through September, you will get to enjoy the fab smell of rotten pumpkin throughout the cool evenings. In addition to it being Pumpkin Fest week, it has been nice and cool outside, which makes it feel even more like fall.
I am planning on making a few pumpkin recipes between now and Halloween (mmmkay since you asked so nicely, between now and Thanksgiving). If you have any delish pumpkin recipes, please pass them onto me! I’m always looking for new recipes in gen, but with pumpkin in particular.
One thing my mom makes every year are pumpkin bars. I’ve been making my own the past few years (I think I took them for snack in class last fall) and today I made one batch for her and one for me. The recipe is quite simple. My mom got the recipe from Paula Deen.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 then start off by gathering your ingredients:
Grab your large mixing bowl and throw in the 4 eggs, 1 2/3 cups sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil and can of pumpkin.
Mix it all together until it is fluffy. Now, I was cooking in my mom’s kitchen and when I went to get the beaters for the electric mixer, I convinced myself that one of the beaters didn’t fit? Later on when I made the icing, the other one did fit in it…I dunno what happened there. While I was only using one beater, I kept singing “it was a one-eyed, one-horned, flying pumpkin bar beater.” I am cool.
Then add in the dry ingredients. If someone can explain why you’re supposed to combine the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl first, please fill me in. Until then, I will continue putting my dry ingredients right into the rest of the mix 🙂
2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda
Then look into the backyard and get a little sad inside because although you do love fall, you also love summer.
Don’t throw out your pumpkin bar batter before you look at the thermometer though.
At this point, I add in raisins. You could also throw in some kind of nut (pecans? walnuts? I think my mom has put nuts in before, but I’m not sure what kind) or chocolate chips. Or, you can just leave them the way they are.
Pour the batter into a 13×10 inch pan. My mom told my to buy aluminum pans so that I could have a lid to take mine home and so we can just throw them out after the bars are gone (prob by like tomorrow). I think these were 13×9-this might have affected my cooking time, I had to cook for about 15 more minutes than the recipe said.
Cook, cook, cook. It says to bake it for 30 minutes. Like I said though, I kept mine in for longer (probably because of the size of the pan). These (and my second batch) each took about 45 minutes.
While these are cooling, mix up the icing! This is what you’ll need:
Mix the softened butter and cream cheese together (this is when I realized I wasn’t crazy and both of the beaters did fit into the mixer?).
Then throw in the powdered sugar and vanilla. I mixed the powdered sugar in with a fork at first so that it wouldn’t fly all over my momma’s kitchen.
Then quick ice the bars before you eat it all!
Cut them up and eat! Happy [almost] fall!