Thursday, November 21, 2013

Apple Butter Pumpkin Bars with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

In my family when the Autumn rolls around we make a pan of pumpkin bars about every other week.  It dawned on me the other day that we can get pumpkin year round yet we anxiously wait until October before we make our first pan.  I know we are goofy.  About 8 years ago I saw an episode of Paula Deen's Thanksgiving and she made a Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie.  Thought I would give it a try our family really liked it and now it is the standard dessert at our Thanksgiving table.  A couple weeks ago I thought I would try adding apple butter into the pumpkin bars and see if they were just as good.  They were, now don't be freaked out they will not have the overwhelming flavor of apple just a hint and it keeps them moist.  Making the spiced cream cheese frosting I was just showing off.  :-) You can find apple butter at most major grocery stores either near the peanut butter or jam.  If you are super ambitious you can make your own super easy in the crock pot I have used this Apple Butter Recipe I only start with 2 c sugar and cook awhile and then add more if needed.  If you want to avoid white sugar I have used honey in place of the sugar with great results. You do not have to buy pumpkin pie spice if you have cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove in your pantry.  Check out the Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe I use every year.

Apple Butter Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2c apple butter
1/2c applesauce unsweetened
1 (15oz) Can pumpkin puree
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt

Pre heat oven to 350
In a med bowl mix eggs, sugar, apple butter, applesauce, and pumpkin with a electric mixer until fluffy. In another bowl sift (or mix really well so no lumps of baking powder or soda) together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.  Stir into the pumpkin mixture until thoroughly combined.
Spread the batter evenly into an ungreased 10x15 inch jellyroll pan.  Bake for 25-30 until browned.  Cool COMPLETELY before frosting.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 c powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl cream the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until fluffy add vanilla and pumpkin pie spice turn the mixer to low slowly add the powder sugar a little at a time beating until mixture is smooth.
When bars are cooled spread evenly on top of the cooled bars. Cut the bars into squares.

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