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
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.
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!