"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
November 5, 2013
Pumpkin Bars
by Joni Hilton

I should really call these My Favorite Pumpkin Bars.  I've been making them for more years than I claim to be alive, and they come out perfectly every time.

They're moist and flavorful, deceptively easy to whip up, and this recipe makes 30 bars, perfect for a crowd.  You bake them in a rimmed cookie sheet, and they come out thick, like cake.  It's a shame we wait until fall to make pumpkin desserts — these are good enough to enjoy all year!

Here's what you need:

4 eggs
1 & 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup cooking oil
1 (16-oz.) can solid pack pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin until well mixed.  Sift flour and remaining dry ingredients into batter.  (It's worth it to sift, to prevent little white lumps in the batter.)  Mix thoroughly, then spread on an UNgreased (10x15-inch) baking sheet.  Bake 25 minutes, or until knife tests clean when inserted in center.  Cool, frost, then cut into bars.

To make frosting:

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth.  Add sifted powdered sugar a little at a time, beating until smooth.  (Again, worth it to sift the sugar so you don't get lumps.)

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About Joni Hilton

Joni is an award-winning playwright, the author of 20 books, holds a master of fine arts degree in professional writing from USC, and is frequently published in major magazines. Tune in to her radio advice show at AM1380, at 9 a.m. Pacific Time, on saturday mornings.

A former TV talk show host in Los Angeles, she is also a TV spokeswoman across the U.S. for various corporations, and highly in demand as a public speaker.

Hilton writes for Music and The Spoken Word for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and is a columnist for Meridian Magazine.

Hilton's books can be found at Goodreads, CreateSpace, Amazon, Deseret Book, and at MormonAuthors. Reviews are also available at these same sites.

She is founder and former CEO of Holy Cow, an organic line of cleaning products, the winner of dozens of cooking contests, and a former model and Miss California. She is married to TV personality Bob Hilton, and they are the parents of four children.

Feel free to follow Joni at Twitter and on Facebook. Her website is at http://cookingwithjoni.blogspot.com/.

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