Something sweet and spicy for you to sink your teeth into? I think it's time for some fragrant pumpkin bars -- the dessert that smells almost as heavenly as it tastes. Paula Deen's gonna hook you up with the perfect recipe. You can make these with or without the icing -- I think they're fabulous either way. But it's a cream cheese icing and personally I'll take any excuse for cream cheese icing! You could try adding chocolate chips or pecans, too, if you're feeling fancy.
Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars via Food Network
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13- by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.
To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.
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