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Twink's Treats: Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Twink's Treats: Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

October! It’s hard to believe we are in the tenth month of 2016.  Fall is officially here, and despite some warm afternoons, the mornings and evenings are blessedly cool and maybe even crisp!  Such a welcome change after the intense heat of summer and 70+ days of 90 degree temperatures. With fall also comes the arrival of the new latest favorite craze, pumpkin spice.  While I personally love the pumpkin spice smell, taste and products, I have noticed that there are some new items with the fragrance/taste. Besides the usual pumpkin spice coffee, tea, creamer, candles, cookies, donuts, etc., there are some new items that are a little different.  I actually saw pumpkin spice snack crackers and body lotion in the store this weekend.  But what really amazed me was a sign at a local spa for a “Pumpkin Spice Pedicure”…

As I said, I love the flavor and love to bake with pumpkin in the fall.  Some of my favorites are a Pumpkin Cheesecake and a 4 layer Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream Torte. I didn’t have that much time this weekend, but I did make a family favorite – Pumpkin Bars.  Here’s my version:

Pumpkin Bars
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice mixture
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 15- ounce can pumpkin
3 eggs
½ cup canola oil
1 t. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour large shallow baking pan (13 x 9 or larger) or jellyroll pan. In mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients, then add oil, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin.  Mix well.  Pour into prepared pan, and bake 25-30 minutes or until done.  Cool.

4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 of 8 ounce package), softened
1stick butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
About 2 T. half and half
Dash of pumpkin spice mixture
Optional:  Chopped pecans

Beat cream cheese and butter until blended, add sugar, spice and milk.  Beat until consistency is spreadable.  Spread on cooled cake and sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Refrigerate and cut into bars. 

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea (Pumpkin Spice, of course!)

Until next time, be kinder than necessary, and remember that life is short so tell your friends and family you love them! -Twink

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