Holiday Baking

My friend and neighbor invited me to a Women’s group at her church, a gathering to center the heart and prepare for Christmas. I will be attending a sewing retreat at that time so I regrettably had to decline her gracious invitation. Nevertheless, I find myself preparing for the holidays by baking some num-nums to freeze now, and thaw & frost before the Big Event. For a delightful breakfast or brunch, these bars are perfect with a hot cuppa. For a holiday dessert, serve with Spiked Coffee, recipe below. Your Christmas baking and hosting will be all the merrier with The Helen Apron and The Helen Hot Pads, featured in this photo. Or, give them as gifts to an exceptional human.

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Pumpkin Bars

  • 2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 C. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 16 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 C. cooking oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 C. chopped walnuts, optional
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 15x10x1″ baking sheet.

In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cloves. Stir in the pumpkin, oil, eggs and nuts. Spread into prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool on wire racks. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Store, covered, in the fridge.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 C. butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 C. sifted powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until light & fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of the sifted powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in enough of the remaining sugar to make frosting of spreading consistency.

If you have leftover frosting, use it to create a kid-friendly and cloversue-approved treat: spread graham crackers with frosting and dust with a wee bit of cinnamon sugar or red & green sprinkles.

Spiked Coffee

In a coffee mug, dissolve 1/2 to 1 tsp. of sugar in a small amount of hot coffee. Add an ounce (or two) of brandy or bourbon, then fill with hot coffee. Stir. Top with a dollop of whipped and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

 

Mmm. Feeling warm and toasty yet?

Cheers,

Jamie

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