Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Squares | Pinky's Pantry
Fall is pumpkin season. It’s the time when pumpkin farms do a booming business as people flock to them to pick out the pumpkins they want to carve into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween or put on display on their fall table centerpieces. But pumpkins don’t just make great decorations. They’re wonderful for eating, too!

Pumpkins make delicious soups, side dishes, and desserts. I mean what would Thanks-giving be without pumpkin pie? Well, this is an old recipe for the yummiest pumpkin cake you’ll ever bite into! Iced with cream cheese frosting and cut into squares, it’s a family favorite that’s ideal for taking to potlucks and office parties, too. It’s moist and delicious and my cream cheese frosting is the perfect showcase for the rich, not-too-sweet cake underneath it.

PUMPKIN SQUARES

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (15-oz.) pumpkin
  • 1⅔ cups sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and oil.
  4. Add the flour mixture and beat till well combined.
  5. Stir in chopped nuts, if desired.
  6. Spread batter in an ungreased 9×13-inch baking pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 pkg. (8 ozs.) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Zucchini Crumble Bars

Zucchini Crumble Bars | Pinky's Pantry
I make these bars a lot during zucchini season. The zucchini is like a “surprise ingredient” that fools everybody. They all think it’s apple and don’t believe me when I tell them it’s zucchini. These bars are delicious, and best of all, are so easy to make. My family loves to eat them warm with a scoop of ice cream. Give them a try and see if they don’t surprise you, too.
Zucchini Crumble Bars | Pinky's Pantry

ZUCCHINI CRUMBLE BARS

For the Filling:

  • 8-10 cups zucchini, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 4-5 lbs.)
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2-3 tbsp. cold water (this is called a slurry)
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook zucchini, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg, stirring occasionally until zucchini is crisp-tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. While stirring constantly, pour in slurry (cornstarch water mixture). It is important to keep stirring as the slurry will thicken the mixture very quickly.
  3. Continue to cook and stir, 1-2 minutes more, until mixture is thick and glossy.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the Crust:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups cold butter, cut in cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Set aside about 3 cups of the crust mixture for topping.
  5. Press remaining crust mixture into bottom of prepared baking pan.
  6. Pour zucchini mixture over crust, spreading evenly to edges.
  7. Crumble remaining crust mixture over zucchini mixture.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top crust is golden brown.

Dulce de Leche Bars

Dulce de Leche Squares | Pinky's Pantry
I love dulce de leche. It’s so delicious, I can eat it by the spoonful! I thought it would be fun to make some kind of bars with dulce de leche in them. So I made up this recipe with a blondie base and ready-made dulce de leche. It turned out great! The kids loved them. I’ll definitely be making these again!
Dulce de Leche Squares | Pinky's Pantry

DULCE DE LECHE BARS

  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 can (13.4 ozs.) dulce de leche (or you can make your own)
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk (can substitute fresh milk)
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil and grease foil lightly.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, melt butter in microwave.
  4. To melted butter, add brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and nuts, stirring to combine.
  5.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing together well. Batter will be thick.
  6. Reserve 1 cup of the batter and set aside.
  7. Spread remaining batter into prepared pan. It will seem like you don’t have enough batter to completely cover the bottom of the pan, but just do your best, spreading as thinly as you need to.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. While bottom crust is baking, empty dulce de leche into a bowl and add milk.
  10. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds, until dulce de leche is completely combined with milk and is soft and pourable.
  11. Remove cooked crust from oven and pour dulce de leche over crust, spreading to within ¼-inch of edges.
  12. Drop spoonfuls of reserved 1 cup batter randomly over dulce de leche layer.
  13. Cut through batter and dulce with a knife to create a marbled effect.
  14. Return to oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until set.
  15. Cool on wire rack, then lift foil from pan to remove.
  16. Cut into bars or squares.

Sweet and Saltines

Sweet and Saltines | Pinky's PantryThis strange sounding recipe is one of Trisha Yearwood’s. I watched her make it on TV and immediately rushed to the kitchen to try making it myself. O-M-G!!! It was sooo good! The family loved it! Such an unusual recipe and surprisingly yummy! And the best part…. it was super easy to make. You’ve just got to try this one.

SWEET AND SALTINES

  • 35 to 40 saltine crackers
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 8 ozs. semisweet chocolate chips (about 1⅓ cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Line 1 large or 2 small jelly­roll pans with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Arrange the saltines salt­ side down in a single layer.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and boil for a few minutes until it turns a caramel color.
  5. Remove from heat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly.
  6. Put the jelly­roll pan into the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until just bubbly, watching carefully so as not to burn.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crackers.
    Sweet and Saltines | Pinky's Pantry
  8. Wait a minute or so and when the heat melts the chips a bit, spread the chocolate over the crackers with a knife or an offset spatula.
    Sweet and Saltines | Pinky's Pantry
  9. Place the pan in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold. They will form one solid sheet.
    Sweet and Saltines | Pinky's Pantry
  10. Break up into pieces.
    Sweet and Saltines | Pinky's Pantry
  11. Store in an airtight container. That is…… assuming you have any left to store!