Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall: Pumpkin Bars

In high school AP German class, after the exam, we had to translate a recipe for cobbler (a krümeltorte, technically), make the recipe, then bring it in to class for a massive cobbler gorge-fest. (Unless you translated it incorrectly, in which case, no I don't want to eat your nasty concoction, thanks.) I remember my friend Jen gave up on translating/making the topping ingredients (methinks senioritis hit her junior year) and topped hers with yellow cake mix and melted butter. I thought this was the strangest thing, but she assured me that this was how her mother makes a shortcut cobbler.

Yeah, that crumbled yellow cake mix tasted better than my homemade topping (Butter, Zucker, Mehl, Backpulver, Ei, Vanille-Extrakt, und Salz, for those curious).

So when I acquired a recipe that included probably my favorite non-chocolate sweet (pumpkin) with that surprisingly tasty yellow cake mix topping, I knew we had a winner.

The good: You don't need special equipment. The bad: It takes an hour (or more) to cook. The worse: Despite my alterations, this ain't health food. But boy is it good!

Pumpkin Bars
30 oz. can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
14 oz. can evaporated milk (fat free works perfectly well)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. sugar
splash of vanilla
1/4 t. cinnamon
2 T. pumpkin pie spice (or your favorite combination of nutmeg, cloves, etc.)
one box yellow cake mix (you could totally use only a half box and save the rest for next time)
1.5 sticks butter, melted (it calls for 2 sticks (!), but I'd start with 1 and add more if needed)
1 c. chopped pecans (I just eyeballed it)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and the spices with a whisk or spatula in a bowl. Spread into 13 x 9-inch pan.

Sprinkle cake mix on top. Pour melted butter over cake mix. Top with chopped nuts.

Bake at 350 for 1 to 1.5 hours. (70 minutes worked for me)

I took this picture at a Navy football tailgate. Perfect recipe for traveling!

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