This recipe is from my mom's church cookbook, they were submitted by my grandmother's neighbor. The name of the recipe was "Peter Pumkin Bars" so that's how we always referred to them. My mom made these every year in the fall. This is the original recipe only calling for cinnamon as the spice, but feel free to spice them up a bit if that's your thing! Like any baked good with spices, these will taste best the next day, when the flavors have a chance to meld. I topped with walnuts because that's how my mom always did it and for me this is a must! Hope you enjoy!
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix!
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups rolled oats or quick oats (not instant)
1 tablespoon cinnamon*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 cake pan by spraying with no-stick cooking spray.
In a bowl, mix together pumpkin, vegetable oil, brown sugar, and eggs, stir to mix well.
In a sifter or whisked together in a bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon (or spice mix), baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the flour mixture all at once to the pumpkin mixture and stir just to combine, a few small lumps are OK. Stir in oats and stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until it tests done. Let cool completely.
*for a spicier bar, use 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. You and also make your own spice blend (cloves, ginger, nutmeg etc…) to equal roughly 1 tablespoon.
Cream cheese icing
4 oz. (½ a bar) room temperature cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (½ a stick) room temperature butter
2 cups powdered confectioners sugar
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth, spread over cooled bars.