Pumpkin Bars

So this recipe is really similar to the Bourbon Pumpkin cake recipe I posted earlier. The big difference is no Bourbon. Still super moist and flavorful though. I modified the original recipe that this is based on. It called for a few ingredients I didn’t want to use and I substituted ones I did want to use. Easy enough. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Bars

  • 4 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Icing

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temp
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. whole milk

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350°. Spay a 9″x13″ baking pan and line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl beat together the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until smooth. Combine the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder & soda, and salt. Gradually beat into the pumpkin mixture on low speed. Pout in to the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool. Once it’s cooled flip over onto a board or plate and remove the parchment. Flip it back into the baking pan.

For the icing, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and butter until smooth. Add in the vanilla and milk, beat until smooth again. Spread onto the bars, cut, and eat.

 

 

 

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Lemon Bars

So one of my coworkers was quite upset when she found out I made the lemon pound cake and didn’t bring any into work. Now it partly my fault, I have spoiled my coworker by bringing in a lot of what I make and post on this blog. And to be fair, she LOVES lemons; to the point that she eats lemon slices all the time. To make it up to her, and because she recently had a bad one, I decided to make lemon bars. This recipes is a slightly modified version of the America’s Test Kitchen’s version. To be honest, while it turned out, I’ll probably double the recipe the next time I make it. I thought the bars were really thin. Enjoy!

Lemon Bars

Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 lemons, zested & juiced

Filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 eggs, 3 whole and 3 yolks only
  • 4 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted cutter, cut into pieces (about 8)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350° and make sure the rack is in the middle position. Make a foil sling for an 8″ square baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so each is as wide as the pan. Lay the sheets into the pan, so they form a cross. Press into the pan, up the sides, and fold the extra over. This will help you take it out when it’s done.

In a bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and whisk together. Add the melted butter and the zest of 2 lemons. Press into the bottom of the pan to form an even layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, rotate after 10 minutes.

While the crust is baking; whisk together 1 cup sugar, 2 tbsp flour, cream of tartar, and salt. I do this in a medium sized pot. Add in the eggs and whisk until there are no streaks. Add in the remaining lemon zest and juice; you should have 2/3 cup of juice. It really depends on the size of your lemons.

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and registers at 160°. If you don’t have a candy thermometer I highly recommend getting one. Take the mixture off the heat and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time until completely incorporated.

By this time your crust should be done. Pour the lemon through a fine strainer into the pan with the crust. This will make sure there are no lumps. Bake until set, about 10 minutes, or until the center doesn’t jiggle when the pan is shaken. Let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours. Use the foil sling to get it out of the pan. I found it was pretty delicate so be careful. To get it off the foil I placed a piece of parchment paper on top and then a square platter on top of that. Flipped it over, removed the foil, and then flipped it over again onto a cutting board. Remove the paper and cut into squares, cleaning the knife between cuts to prevent sticking. Dust with the powdered sugar and serve.

Lilikoi Bars

A friend of mine recently had a birthday. She’s the tasting room manager for Rotie Cellars, one of the best wineries in Washington if I may say so. I stopped by the weekend of her birthday and brought key lime pound cake (a recipe I previously posted). Unfortunately she was off enjoying herself. So I decided to make her something special for when she returned. Being Hawaiian, I figured a Hawaiian dessert was in order. My friend Google suggested several things but I liked this dessert. It’s similar to a lemon bar but is made with lilikoi, which is passion fruit. I had no idea what a challenge it would be! I had to go to at 7 different stores in Seattle that where known for Hawaiian foods. The first 5 had nothing, the 6th had passion fruit from concentrate in a can and finally the 7th had frozen passion fruit juice with seeds. It turned out really well and needless to say my friend was really touched. Enjoy!

Lilikoi Bars

Crust

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tsp kosher salt

Filling

  • 6 large eggs at room temp
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup lilikoi (passion fruit) juice, fresh would be best but good luck finding it.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/4 Tsp cream of tartar

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lilikoi juice
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine the flour and salt and add to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Dump the dough into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan and press it along the bottom and about 1/2″ up the sides.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, remove to cool slightly (leave the oven on). While it’s cooling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lilikoi juice, lemon zest & juice, cream of tartar, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is set. A knife inserted in the middle should come out fairly clean. Allow to cool.

To make the glaze, bring the 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar to a boil stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn down to medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the lilikoi and lemon juice, boil for another 3 minutes. Allow to cool and drizzle over the lilikoi bars.