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Penuche Pumpkin Bars

Penuche Pumpkin BarsA perfect pairing -- spiced pumpkin bars topped with a rich and creamy brown sugar frosting.

Recipe Ingredients:

Bars:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup toasted nuts, chopped (optional)

Penuche Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup whole milk or light cream
2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Bars: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly butter and flour a 13x9x2-inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Add eggs and vanilla extract, mix to combine. Add pumpkin; mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; mix to combine. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture; mix well. If desired, add nuts or raisins; mix until dispersed evenly.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow bars to cool in pan before topping with fudge frosting.
  5. For Penuche Frosting: Combine butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium high heat; bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and return to boil, stirring constantly. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; cool to lukewarm.
  6. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, stirring until incorporated. Beat mixture until thick enough to spread; adding additional confectioners’ sugar if needed. If fudge is too thick, add a little hot water.
  7. Frost cooled bars with warm fudge; let fudge set completely before cutting into squares. Store finished bars covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Makes 24 bars.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.