When fall rolls around, the color orange is everywhere. And when the color orange is in the air, pumpkin desserts are also everywhere. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, and of course pumpkin bars. The pumpkin spices are everywhere and the house always smells like cinnamon. Even though I am one for making things from scratch, I prefer the box mixes from Trader Joe’s to get the most of the pumpkin spices.
Fallen for Pumpkin History
Well first off, pumpkins are actually a fruit even though it is thought of as a vegetable. The first “pumpkin pie” was a pumpkin shell hollowed out with sweetened milk and spices roasted over a fire. It was in the 1800’s that pumpkin pies became more common on a Thanksgiving table. Pumpkin, when used as a dessert, was always with some sort of spices so it makes why in modern days we have pumpkin spice everything. Pumpkin was always a sweet of the harvest time mixed with spices. Pumpkin with spices has evolved into the latte and my favorite, pumpkin bars.
From Box to Bar
My favorite pumpkin dessert if you have not noticed is the pumpkin bar. I use the Trader Joe’s mix by adding chocolate chips and frosting the top with cream cheese frosting. While it is a box mix, you could totally pull this off as making it from scratch. The flavors are fresh, and the chocolate chips add a little more sweetness. The cream cheese frosting is five ingredients and takes a total of three minutes.
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese
1 package of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bar Mix
1 cup of chocolate chips (if mix does not include it)
1 stick of melted butter
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
1 stick of butter
4oz of cream cheese
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees, and line a 11 in by 5 in baking pan with parchment paper.
- Following the Trader Joe’s box mix, whisk together the eggs and melted butter. Blend in dry ingredients mix, and chocolate chips if needed until a dough/batter forms.
- Spread the dough in the pan to get it as evenly spread as possible
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes
- For the frosting, beat all the frosting ingredients together until a frosting texture is created.
- Let the bars cool, and then frost with cream cheese frosting. Cut into bar shapes and enjoy!
These bars taste like they are homemade, and nobody would ever know they came from a box mix. So enjoy and fall in love with fall!