Halloween is not exactly my favorite holiday. It is a fun one, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE candy. I am just not a huge fan of dressing up. It doesn’t really help that my three year old has some strange phobia of costumes. The last three Halloweens haven’t exactly gone as I would have planned. Last year I was lucky to get him in a Lightning McQueen T-shirt instead of the adorable fire fighter costume he was “supposed” to wear.
All that aside, there is something very magical about Halloween, and I love the glow of a jack-o-lantern on the front porch. In fact, I love almost everything PUMPKIN. Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin cream cheese bars, dinner in a pumpkin, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, roasted pumpkin seeds…I think you get the picture.
For this post I want to give you a little taste of the most wonderful pumpkin square that will ever touch your little lips. I had the privilege of first tasting something very similar to this irresistible treat about 6 years ago. It was a moment I will never forget. Unlucky for me, I now live about two thousand miles from the lovely little bakery where this “love at first taste” happened. Lucky for me, I have a friend, Nan, who made the closest thing I had tasted since, and after minor tweaking of her recipe I was able to almost recreate the real deal. Unlucky for me, I usually end up eating the whole pan.
SERIOUSLY IRRESISTIBLE PUMPKIN SQUARES
Beat until creamy:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cup packed pumpkin
2 cups flour
( psst, hey–this is a special secret–Use at least half wheat flour. I use all wheat flour. It gives it a very special texture and don’t worry they will still be moist. They will even be way way yummy if you just use regular white flour, but if you’re like me, you probably try to be at least a little bit healthy sometimes. Using wheat flour takes part of the guilt factor away when I eat the whole pan by myself.)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch nutmeg (optional)
Beat until well blended. Spread mixture in a lightly greased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-23 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
1 8oz. softened cream cheese
Mix that together really good with your hand mixer and then add:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Beat until smooth and spread on completely cooled cake.
I personally love to keep these in the fridge because even though they are completely fabulous at room temperature, they are TO DIE FOR when they are cold. Keeping them in the fridge also helps the frosting stay fresher. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Stay tuned for more fall fun with pumpkin and other great fall Super Stars, like apples and soups coming at you later.