The women in my family can certainly bake. I left home with a book full of family recipes that I've used and shared to start new friendships, to woo my husband, to bring comfort and cheer, and to remind me of home. I've added quite a few of my own recipes since then and made a few adjustments to some of my mother's.
This is her pumpkin bar recipe- THE pumpkin bar recipe in our family. It's the only kind of pumpkin I remember eating growing up. I imagine my mom made them for holidays and baby showers, and I remember never being able to eat just one square. We have a habit in our family of cutting small pieces of desserts like this, so it feels like you're eating less, and you get to keep going back for more :)
Pumpkin bars are quick and easy, but they lack the visual appeal of a grander dessert. Recognizing that the main difference between a bar and a cake was the pan, bake time, and presentation, I started using this recipe in ways that would better satisfy my creative imaginings. We've had pumpkin "bars" as cakes and cupcakes, mini bundts, and quick & easy in a ramekin.
Since leaving home, I've started making pumpkin bread too (a Robertson family classic), but given the choice between bread and cake (with cream cheese frosting), I found myself going for the sweeter of the two this week. A cake to welcome in the fall. We shared some and ate a lot and every bite was delicious.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Combine 3 oz. softened cream cheese, 1/2 cube softened margarine, 2 C powdered sugar, and 2 tsp. vanilla. If consistency is too thick, add milk, a little at a time. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.