If you love pumpkin bars, look no further–this recipe is for you! My aunt gave me the original recipe, and then I modified it. I took out an entire CUP of oil, and I also replaced the four eggs it called for with egg beaters. You will never know the difference–I promise.
At Thanksgiving one year, my aunt and I actually both brought these to share–although she had used the original recipe, and I had used this healthier version. Everyone (even my aunt!) agreed that the modified recipe was the winner, hands-down! You will not believe how moist these are… give them a try!
1 cup egg beaters (the equivalent of 4 eggs)
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup applesauce (I usually use 2 small containers that I always have on hand for my kids’ lunches… probably just shy of 1 cup but close enough!)
2 cups pumpkin (I use one 15 oz. can… probably just over 2 cups, but again–close enough!)
2 cups flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
5 oz. 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened (leave out of fridge for a while)
1/2 cup butter, softened (leave this out of fridge for a bit, too)
Preheat oven to 350 and remove cream cheese and butter from the fridge so they can begin to soften.
Mix together egg beaters, sugar, applesauce, and pumpkin. Beat well.
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir by hand for a bit to mix in dry ingredients and then beat well for about 2-3 minutes.
Pour into baking sheet with sides–my pan is about 15×10. * I recommend using an insulated pan if you have one. (I do lightly spray the baking sheet with Pam, but I’m not sure if this step is truly necessary… I’ve just always been afraid to skip it!)
Bake for about 25 minutes or until the center springs back a bit when you touch it lightly. (You can also test for doneness with a toothpick–it should come out clean.)
Mix all ingredients together for the frosting. * Careful not to over-mix or the butter will separate and the frosting will be runny.
Spread evenly over bars once they've cooled.
Store bars in the refrigerator if you will not be eating them all within about 24 hours.