Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin and Pear bars with Cream Cheese frosting

Hello Everyone,
Well I’m back from my latest adventure, my father's home town of La Laja , Mexico.  A small town  3 hours outside of Puerto Vallarta Mexico.  The food was amazing. Wonderful homemade cheeses, delicious corn tamales and fresh fish and beef from their farms.   I was inspired on this recipe based on a breakfast we had our first morning there. We had the most wonderful pumpkin with brown sugar for breakfast with fresh milk poured over it .  Their pumpkins are not like our orange pumpkins that we make pumpkin pie with, but are green in color with white stripes, medium sized , and shaped like an American pumpkin.  They cut the pumpkin into large pieces, add brown sugar and put it on the stovetop with a small amount of water and steam it slowly for a few hours till the brown sugar melts to a rich caramel  and is absorbed into the pumpkin… yummy. I wish I would have taken a picture of it to share with you.  The funny part is Faye and I had just spoken about making something with pumpkin right before I left on the trip.   So I have taken that yummy pumpkin and made a pumpkin and pear bar with a cream cheese frosting. (Pears are in season right now, so buy them. They are perfectly ripe and tasty!)   The bar is an experiment but it came out really good. Enjoy!

Pumpkin and pear bars with Cream cheese frosting
1 box plain yellow cake mix
½ chopped pecans
4 eggs
1/2 c. brown sugar
½  c. white sugar
1 can (30 oz) pumpkin
1 c.  butter
2/3 c. 2% milk
1/2 tbl. Cinnamon
½ pumpkin pie spice
1 Bartlett pear, pealed and cropped into small cubes
1/2 c. brown sugar

1. Set aside 1 cup of the 
cake mix.
2. Melt ½ cup  of butter and mix with remaining cake mix and 1 beaten egg and ½ cup pecans.
3. Spread in bottom of 9 x 13-inch greased baking dish.

4. Mix together ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup white sugar, the milk, cinnamon, pumpkin spice remaining 3 eggs(beaten), and pumpkin.  Add and stir in the cropped pear.
5. Pour over cake mix layer.

6. Combine the reserved cup of cake mix, ½  cup brown sugar and ½ cup the softened butter.

7. Put the last later over pumpkin layer.  It more like a paste, so take small pieces off and place over the pumpkin 

8. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.
9. Cool and then chill for one hour

Cream cheese frosting
½ butter soften
1 -8oz cream cheese soften
4 cups powder sugar
1 tea. pumpkin pie spice
1 tea. Vanilla extract
Beat together the cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Gradually add powder sugar and pumpkin pie spice.   Stir in the Vanilla.
Decorate bars chilled bars with cream cheese frosting to taste

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