Lavon and Miss NiNi talk about Pumpkin season.
Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars—adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Fall Baking
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 15 x 10-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. In a large bowl, stir together first eight ingredients. Add four eggs, pumpkin, and oil; mix until combined. Spread batter into prepared pan.
Microwave chocolate pieces for 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds; set aside. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/3 c. sugar with a mixer on medium until combined. Beat in one egg, milk, and melted chocolate. Spoon cream cheese mixture in mounds over pumpkin batter. Using a thin metal spatula or table knife, swirl to marble. Bake 25-30 minutes or until puffed and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift uncut bars from pan. (If bbars are too soft to cut, freeze for 1 hour.) Cut into bars, wiping knife between cuts, if needed.
To Store: Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days.
Yields: 24 bars.
NOTE FROM MISS NiNi: I so often see recipes for pumpkin bars with a cream cheese frosting. This Autumn-flavored recipe adds depth of chocolate with cream cheese and is then swirled into the bars before baking rather than spread over the top of the bars after baking. Swirling the two batters together allows you to become your own culinary Picasso! It’s so much fun!! But don’t overdo the swirling, or the two batters and colors will become one. Plus factors for this recipe: 1. Uses the entire can of pumpkin—no leftovers—Yay! 2. The original recipe did not include nutmeg. I added a small amount because I cannot fathom enjoying pumpkin without a wee bit of nutmeg. 3. Cloves are very pungent! I reduced the amount of cloves by half the amount as called for in the original recipe. The amount can be adjusted according to your taste. Your children or hungry harvesters will love the final result!