We all need something sweet every once in a while Everything in moderation, right?
The smell of pumpkin makes me happy. Especially when it’s baking in my oven with cinnamon and sugar. And thank goodness my kids love pumpkin too. I would have to find a way to convert them otherwise.
I love October. It’s my favorite month. I love the crisp air, colorful leaves, sweaters and boots, and pumpkins. Two of my kids are born in October (get this, even on the SAME day 2 years apart!) so I love making delicious, seasonal treats for them (and me) and these were a huge hit. I am not a crazy person. I like treats and desserts, I just try to lighten them up when I can. These pumpkin bars are an example of just that. They still have sugar in them, but they are made healthier.
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup unrefined sugar
- ½ cup 100% maple syrup
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin seasoning (blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice)
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk (I used almond milk)
- 2 tablespoons 100% maple syrup
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray or butter.
- On low speed, beat eggs with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar, maple syrup, applesauce and pumpkin.Continue to beat for 3-4 minutes until thoroughly mixed.
- In a small bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, pumpkin seasoning, baking powder and baking soda.
- Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat for a minute until combined. Be careful not to over mix.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.
- While bars are cooking, cook butter in large saucepan over medium heat until browned, about 15-20 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients while continuing to stir to avoid clumps.
- Allow bars to cool completely before icing. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
These actually freeze very well too, even with the icing on them. I’ve made these several times and rarely have leftovers, but I wanted to save a few for the weekend so I figured I’d see how they would do if I froze them. They came out great. Just as delicious as when I first made them. Next time I will save some more icing to speed some on top right before eating again.