Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Whole Grain Spelt Pumpkin Bars with Maple-Walnut Frosting

Friday, December 12, 2008

Whole Grain Spelt Pumpkin Bars with Maple-Walnut Frosting

For my second (and quite successful) baking adventure last weekend, I wanted to make something that was a spiced cake with some sort of frosting that was at least reminiscent of a cream cheese frosting. I was originally thinking along the carrot cake line, but when I got in the freezer to take out some pumpkin puree to make Pumpkin-Walnut bread for our annual work holiday party earlier this week, I pulled another container down and decided to go with a pumpkin bar. (On a side note, I am now out of all that pumpkin puree I froze, we've gotten two more small pie pumpkins and will be picking up a few more over the coming days to store with the rest of our winter squash.)

When thinking about the frosting, I decided to go with a maple flavored frosting as I thought it would complement the spiced pumpkin bars really well (it does!). Then I decided to add chopped walnuts and that created a super tasty (albeit very sweet) frosting that did slightly remind me of a cream cheese based frosting - score!

Now, I personally do not like super sweet baked goods. I am one of those freaks who prefer cakes and cupcakes unfrosted, so these were much too rich for me. They were really good, so I tried a couple of times to go back and have more (trying smaller pieces each time), but every time I tried, I just gave myself a tooth or tummy ache. I guess it might not be a super bad thing that I can no longer eat those really rich treats, but these were good, and I wanted to eat more than I could!

The bad thing about this baking experiment is that I found out that these will not work for our gift baskets. They were super tasty, and even had the flavor I was looking for, but they do not last long, and being frosted, don't take to being wrapped up and traveling very well. So in the end, it looks like our chocolate-caffeine sensitive relative is going to be getting a TON of peanut butter and oatmeal raisin cookies.

The local booty legend (aka revealing my sources):
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = local produce from The Root Cellar
++ = The Peace Nook (will denote whether product is local or just from the Nook)
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms

Whole Grain Spelt Pumpkin Bars with Maple-Walnut Frosting

Pumpkin Bars:
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs (or replacer) +
1 cup pumpkin puree +
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole grain spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Using an electric mixer, combine Earth Balance, sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients.

Spray a 9x13 pan with oil.

Spread the batter in the pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.

Maple-Walnut Frosting:
1/3 cup Earth Balance
4 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts +
1 tsp arrowroot

Using an electric mixer, combine Earth Balance and maple syrup.

Slowly add in the sugar, making sure to beat out all the clumps.

Add the arrowroot and combine well.

Stir in the walnuts.

Refrigerate for about an hour.

Spread on completely cooled cake.

So rich, but very yummy. Unfrosted, these would be amazing with green tea for breakfast. They would probably still be good with tea frosted, even for breakfast I suppose, if you can eat something that rich early in the morning.

Well, I'll be back tomorrow with the Weekly Local Booty update (I got me a trip to The Root Cellar planned for after work). Have a great weekend everyone!

'Til next time!


jessy said...

oooooh, yay! what tasty bars! and a maple-walnut frosting!?! too much awesomeness! mmmmmmmmm, mmmmmm! sorry they won't work well for gifts - but they sure do look divine, Jennifer. the frosting sounds especially tasty! i hear ya on the yummy ache from the sweet stuff. i get the same thing. for my birthday i made cupcakes and after i had one my stomach was NOT happy with all that sugar. it's a good thing, i think! :) hope you kick some ass in fantasty football this weekend, and i look forward to the local booty post! it's one of my favs!

Laura said...

those look so greata! isn't using your own pumpkin puree so satisfying?? and anything with maple, well, just plain rocks!!
yeah, i have tried a couple different varieties of patric and it is sooooo wonderful!! and it only has two ingredients! i met patric, the creator, when i was working at clover's and he is really nice! i'm pretty sure someone would have to be awesome to make such great chocolate though!

Anonymous said...

Those sound delicious! I wish I had your (non)sweet-tooth...I don't think *anything* is too sweet for me! But I do prefer fruits to anything else for dessert, thankfully. I am going to have to try these bars out, though--they really do sound (and look) amazing!

I am sure your chocolate/caffeine sensitive family/friends will appreciate your thoughtfulness with their non-chocolate/caffeine treats. They will be thrilled with their cookies!


Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

the frosting sounds so good! Sorry the packaging won't work out, but your relative will love the cookies too. Hope you have a great weekend!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Jessy - Aw, thank you. I think they would be great to take to a holiday party or a potluck, but I'm not sure how to wrap them without it becoming a mess, and they really only keep optimally for about 2 days.

Brett is like that too, so we agree and enjoy very much our frosting-less cupcakes and such, but I know other people can handle it so I try to use frosting when I am making food for others.

I hope we do too! We'll know more tomorrow. Matt Forte has already played and got us 11 points. We opted to start the Panthers defense in place of the Bears (as the Bears can fall apart on the run block at times), and then, of course, the bears had a touchdown return and 2 fumbles. I hope the Panthers do flippin' good now!

Laura - Thank you. It really is, I love using local pumpkin puree, I love that you use it too.

That is pretty cool that you got to meet the creator, his chocolate is so simple, but tastes amazing. I think so, I don't think a mean and nasty person would make very good chocolate. :-)

Courtney - Thanks! Haha, I used to be that way, but anymore, I just prefer things "mildly sweet". That is a good thing to prefer fruits, I love fruit myself!

I hope you like these if you make them, they truly are very good, but also very rich and decadent!

I plan on trying to make it up to them - everyone else is going to have such variety, and he is only going to have two different things, so I'll make sure they are really tasty and he gets his fill of them!

Lisa - It really was. Thats alright, I should have thought about the "frosting-packaging-traveling" equation before trying them out, but I think you are right - cookies will "satisfice" (I love that word!).

You too Lisa, thanks.

xlpharmacy said...

I think when you're cooking is very important to give to your dish a "tasty appeareance", however I think this is not a case of those ones.