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The only thing that did really well in my humble garden was my winter squash. I’m awash in squash. That’s okay; what we don’t eat, I can bake with. My pumpkin pies don’t know the difference between squash and pumpkin.

I usually bake a lot of pies for Thanksgiving. I explore a lot, add a little of this and a little of that. I search out unusual recipes. And my son Nathan has taken over the pumpkin pie detail.

pumpkin-2I have fond memories of baking pumpkin pies in earlier years. Maybe the most vivid is trying to fasten little strips of aluminum foil on the edges to protect the crust from the long bake in the oven. It seems that without fail, at least one of those strips would fall into the filling.

Now we solve that problem with a pie crust shield. No more aluminum foil and no more dry, browned edges.

See how to get a free pie crust shield for your Thanksgiving pies.

It’s a little too early for pumpkin pies at our house. But here are three of our favorite pumpkin cookie/bar recipes.

Spiced Pumpkin Bars with Orange Frosting

Ingredients

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4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
1 15-ounce can of pureed pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In the bowl of your stand-type mixer and with the paddle attachment, mix the eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin together until smooth.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger together.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue beating until combined.
  4. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper or grease and flour.  Pour the batter into the pan and smooth it until it is level.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.  If you are using parchment paper, grab the edges of the paper and lift the cake onto a cutting board.  Frost the cake.  Cut it into bars to serve.

For the frosting

3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoon milk

  1. Beat the butter in a small bowl until it is fluffy.  Add the zest.  Gradually add the powdered sugar.
  2. Beat in enough milk to reach the desired spreading consistency.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

1 15-ounce can prepared pumpkin
2 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Adapted from a recipe found at Nancy’s Kitchen.

  1. Mix the pumpkin, eggs, oil, sugar and spices together until well blended.
  2. In another bowl, mix the flour and leavenings together.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix.
  3. Fold in the chocolate pieces and nuts.
  4. Drop spoonfuls on well-greased baking sheets.  Bake for eleven minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.  Remove the cookies immediately and cool on wire racks.

Pumpkin Spiced Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Ingredients

1 large egg
1 cup butter, softened butter
1 cups granulated sugar
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 cup walnut pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In the bowl of your stand-type mixer and with the paddle attachment, mix the eggs, soften butter, sugar, pumpkin, and walnuts together.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger together.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue beating until combined.
  4. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper or grease and flour.  Pour the batter into the pan and smooth it until it is level.  Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool on a wire rack in the pan.  If you are using parchment paper, grab the edges of the paper and lift the cake onto a cutting board.  Frost the cake.  Cut it into bars to serve.

For the frosting

4 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

  1. Beat the cream cheese in a small bowl until it is fluffy.  Add the vanilla.  Gradually add the powdered sugar.
  2. Beat in enough milk to reach the desired spreading consistency.

 

About the Author

Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking   available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon.

Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.