Pumpkin Bars

"Frosting Optional"

pumpkin bars

These pumpkin bars are part of my pumpkin dessert recipes collection. Although these aren't what you would classify as a typical Italian cookie recipe - it carries overtones. It's kind of typical of the way we cook, right? We put our heritage into most of our baking.

These came from a divine revelation. Ok not really. I was watching a Paula Deen video where she whips up some southern-style-pumpkin-bar-type-thing. I fiddled with her recipe and morphed a bit of my grandma's recipe for pumpkin bread and came up with this fantastic little goodie!

I added some ricotta frosting. My kids think the ricotta frosting makes it too sweet. I like it. So I frost half and leave half.

If this isn't exactly what you are looking for check out my other pumpkin dessert recipes.

There's room for substitutions in this recipe - and the Italian spices are optional. Check out all kind of substitution ideas listed below.

And if this wasn't anywhere near what you were looking for check out the photo gallery below. It has all the Italian cookie recipes I have on my site. Hover over the photo - if it looks good - click on the photo and it will take you to the recipe.

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Pumpkin Bars

YIELD: 1 9x11 Pan


* 1 cup of white sugar

* 2/3 cup of brown sugar

* 1 can of pumpkin

* 1/2 cup of oil

* 1/2 cup of butter

* 3 eggs

* 2 cups of flour

* 1 teaspoon baking soda

* 2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/4 teaspoon anise (powdered) - (see substitutions below)

* 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

* 1/4 teaspoon allspice - (see substitutions below)

Frosting Ingredients

* 1 stick of butter

* 8 ounces of ricotta (see substitution ideas below)

* 2 tsp vanilla

* 2 cups of powdered sugar


* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

* Combine sugars, oil, pumpkin.

* Add eggs one at a time and beat.

* Make a well in the middle of the mixture.

* Sift the dry ingredients into the well.

* Blend all ingredients.

* Spread into a greased 9x11 pan.

* Bake for

* Let the pumpkin bars cool and then frost with the ricotta cheese frosting.

* For frosting mix all ingredients together. See notes below for hints on working with ricotta. Too you can substitute cream cheese for the ricotta.

How do I swap the anise and allspice?

Just use cinnamon in their place. OR you can use 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon of ginger. Just make sure you come out with 2 teaspoons total.

What can I use in place of the ricotta?

Cream cheese would be fine. So would neufchatel. We just don't use it much in Italian dessert recipes- but it will work and taste just fine

Is the ricotta too runny?

I drain mine for several hours before making the frosting. Then I squeeze it with a paper towel before I beat it with the other ingredients. Too, using ricotta will make a more softer and spread able frosting than if you use neufatchel or cream cheese.

How high do these rise?

These rise a little higher than I can open my mouth. I used a 9 x 11, so perhaps a larger pan if you want a flatter bar.

Back to the top of the pumpkin bars.

November 2017

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