Accountant Paul Rainbow was the featured “He Cooks” in a column of the November 1976 Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. His recipe, Paul’s Pumpkin Bars, placed in the readers’ favorite recipes of the last 75 years of the magazine as posted in a BHG article called “Favorites Forever” (October 1997 edition.) In that article they noted he was retired in Palm Springs CA. If still living he would be well over 100 years old today! Nevertheless, Paul’s Pumpkin Bars live on. In my book, they rule as an ultimate crowd-pleaser, especially in fall. The recipe below is the original one that appeared in the magazine (there are a lot of tweaked ones floating around on the Internet with the same name!)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup cooking oil
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pecan Halves (optional)
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (My note: This is a thin frosting and makes just barely enough to cover. You might want to increase frosting ingredients slightly, but
- doubling it would be too much.)
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat together eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and oil.
- Add the flour mixture, beat til well combined. Stir in chopped pecans, if desired.
- Spread batter in an ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. (My note: Frosting will smooth on easier if the cake is chilled firm or better yet placed in the freezer a couple of hours.)
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- In a medium bowl beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy; gradually add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
- Frost bars with Cream Cheese Frosting and top with additional pecan halves (optional).
- Cut into 24 bars. Store in refrigerator.