Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

Fall has been trying to arrive here in NY, for the last couple of weeks, today was not it's best attempt.  But there has been a gladware of pumpkin in my freezer for a while now calling to me, and there is only one great way to start off my pumpkin baking season, PUMPKIN BARS!!!

I started baking them in college, for my roommates, and then for my coworkers in the Athletic Training room.  They were an instant hit, and never lasted more than 15 minutes when set down and uncovered.  I still receive requests for them, or the recipe.  For some reason I can't bring myself to make them during the spring or summer, so I wait for the fall to arrive, the temperatures to drop and the true craving for pumpkin products to surface.

I really love this recipe because it is moist and delicious and lends itself well to the use of gluten free flours.  It uses cinnamon and cloves to give it a little kick of spice, with the cream cheese frosting  I think these are darn near divine!  But that is just my little humble opinion.

Tonight we went to our wonderful friends the Lockhart's for dinner so I offered to make dessert, knowing I had frozen pumpkin and a brick of cream cheese in the house.  Being very inspired I dug out the two recipes and got to work.  I did have a little trouble with the cream cheese frosting, which I assume was because I used low fat cream cheese.  I'll have to experiment with that again later, I promise.
Ceci, my queen of savory food, who rarely eats any sweets even had three bites, I was impressed, and took it as a high compliment.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

1/4   Cup Soy Flour
1/4   Cup Brown Rice Flour
3/4   Cup Sweet Rice Flour
3/4   Cup Tapioca Starch
2      tsp Baking Powder
2      tsp Cinnamon
1      tsp Baking Soda
1/4   tsp salt
1/4   tsp ground Cloves

4   beaten Eggs
1 1/2  Cup Sugar
1   16 oz can of pureed pumpkin
1   Cup Canola Oil

In a large mixing bowl, blend dry ingredients until well mixed.  Place Eggs in a stand mixer and mix until beaten, add sugar, pumpkin puree and oil and blend on medium speed for 1 min.  Pour in dry ingredient mix into wet 1 cup at a time, mixing gently between additions.  Blend until fully mixed.  Spread batter in an ungreased 15"x10"x1" pan (jelly roll pan).  Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 25-30 min, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 2 hours and spread with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Mom E's Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz  Cream Cheese, softened
1/4    Cup Butter, softened
3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
2    tsp Vanilla Extract

Blend Cream Cheese and Butter in mixer, add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, and run mixer slowly after each addition.  Add Vanilla Extract at end and mix in.   Spread over cooled cake or bars, and try not to take to many samples, like I do.

My sweet girl helping to model the dessert

Mommy, making pumpkin bars is tiring!

Glutino Chocolate Covered Pretzels!

I've waited a very long time for gluten free chocolate covered pretzels, and now Glutino has delivered!  I can't decide if I should hug or hate the evil genius who finally filled this void on the supermarket shelf.  They are unreasonably delicious, and are probably my new weakness, who doesn't love salty pretzels and sweet milk chocolate!  Now they exist together in all their gluten free deliciousness.  Quite simply they are the same Glutino gluten free pretzel twists that I buy bag after bag of for Ceci and myself to devour on a daily basis, coated in a sweet milk chocolate.  I should also mention that they make a yogurt covered gluten free pretzel too, which Ceci enjoys.  She has been sucking the yogurt coating off of them, and last night handed me the sloppy soggy pieces of left over pretzel from her mouth.  So gross!

My recommendation is to find and buy as many bags as possible, and send them all to me!  Insanely good, probably because it's one of those things I've wanted for about 10 years and now can find in the grocery store.  I think the most reliable place to find so far is, otherwise I've had difficulty finding them at all.  Today I found the yogurt covered pretzels, but not the chocolate covered, had I found the chocolate I probably would have bought 10 bags.  I hope they can get their machines working overtime and keep up with my demand because they have a hit on their hands.