Hye Thyme Cafe: Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting : Hye Thyme Cafe


Whether spooky or tame, this is one sweet fall treat you don't want to miss out on! I was never a big Pumpkin Pie fan growing up. I was the one making a bee line for the Apple Pie or Angel Lemon Pie (my favorite - kind of a reverse Lemon Meringue). But when my Mom first started making these, I was hooked on pumpkin! They're super easy to make, and always something to keep in mind for bake-sales and fundraisers to offset the 600 trays of brownies that will be showing up.

She doesn't remember where she got the recipe, so sadly, I can't give proper credit, but I've seen variations of this pop up all over the place, from catalogs to junk mail. Some versions include clove and nutmeg, but this one only calls for cinnamon. I'm looking to enhance the pumpkin, not hide it, so although those spices certainly pair well, I never bothered to increase the spice in this particular recipe.  

The only kind of "trick" to making these is when you spread the batter in the pan. You want to make it as smooth as you can on top, because if it goes in the oven with any dips, it's gonna come out with them. That will make someone either very happy or very sad. If they're not a huge pumpkin fan, they'll be happy about the extra frosting on theirs, but if they don't have a sweet tooth, they'll be missing the pumpkin. 

BARS :
4 eggs
1 2/3 c sugar
3/4 c canola or veg oil
1 can pumpkin
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
1 t baking soda

FROSTING :
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 c butter
1 t vanilla
2 c powdered sugar

Beat together the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the dry ingredients, then add to the pumpkin mixture, a little at a time, just until incorporated. If you beat it to death, it will probably turn out like lead. You're shooting for a nice airy texture. Spread into un-greased 15x10 and bake at 350 for 20-25", or until a toothpick tests clean. Let cool completely on a rack.


SMOOTH OUT THOSE BUMPS!!

Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting : Hye Thyme Cafe


While your bars are hanging out and cooling down, you can leave your cream cheese out to soften. When you're ready to frost, just beat it all together and slather it on. I usually drop big blobs of frosting lengthwise down the center and then work my way out to the edges.  

Cut them into the desired shape - I usually go with squares - and decorate with whatever strikes your fancy. If I'm going to be putting the whole tray on a table, I usually checker board the top with pecan or walnut halves, so every other square has a nut. If it's closer to Halloween, I'll decorate with candy corn or black and orange sprinkles. If I've got too much time on my hands, I'll pull out some stencils or cookie cutters and use those to set designs for me to decorate. If you've got the time, have fun with it!!




Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting : Hye Thyme CafePumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting : Hye Thyme Cafe




18 comments:

  1. You're pumpkin bars look so cute and festive! I love pumpkin bars and have a recipe similar to yours...it only uses cinnamon too.

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  2. Thanks, Chris -- this is just what I was looking for for my church bake sale this weekend.

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  3. delish! and look how cute you decorated them.

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  4. I made 6 dozen of these over the weekend and sold every one at my church's bake sale. One lady even bought an extra half dozen because her kids devoured so many before they left the church parking lot. They were a huge success.

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  5. That's awesome! Glad to hear they were a hit! :)

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  6. I like that spider design - very elegant.

    Visiting from TALU

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    Replies
    1. It was close to Halloween, so it was a chance to bust out the stencils. Wish I could claim it was freehand LOL.

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  7. Looks good! I love the decorations on them! :)

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  8. Wow! I'm not a big fan of Pumpkin stuff either, but when you put it this way. Mmmm it look delish!

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    1. I actually like pumpkin now, but seriously, if you're on the fence about it, this is a really good recipe to start with!

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  9. They look yummy. You know, I love reading your recipes because you always throw out words of wisdom about it.

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    1. I don't know about the "wisdom" party, but I do have a tendency to get "wordy." ;)

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    2. i so agree with Debbie! then it sounds more like the food is offered from the heavens above. LOL no kidding!

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    3. OK guys, your checks are in the mail. ;)

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  10. hello Chris I just told my husband that my cooking and recipes are inspired by you. most of the food i prepare on our dining table are influenced by your recipes.. cheers! ohhh another mouth-watering delight you got here! keep it coming!!!

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    Replies
    1. Wow, that's quite a compliment! I hope your hubby agrees with your choices. ;)

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