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Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Alternatives and Funny kids

It’s Monday. Sometimes at the start of a stressful week I need extra encouragement in remembering just how blessed I am. I have NO idea where these two learned such outlandish behavior. Probably from their Auntie. :)

elton 010 elton 011
(Sweet boy and the Fashionista mugging it up on the way to see Sir Elton John~)

Truth time. I would be perfectly happy to never eat another slice of pumpkin pie. I know, it’s totally un-American, right? This is normally how I eat pumpkin pie~ not visible, under a mound of whipped cream.
It’s not that I don’t like pumpkin. I do. Just in other forms. Here are two of my favorites Pumpkin Pie Alternative recipes.
Williams Sonoma Pumpkin Butter Bars~ feel free to lick your screen.
I first heard about these dessert bars from my cousin. She said I would love and perhaps kill for these bars and I do. But two things make the primary ingredient, pecan pumpkin butter, hard to come by. First, Williams Sonoma is on the other side of town (45 Min. +) and second, it’s expensive.
I thought about how I could recreate this fabulous food and pondered making my own pumpkin butter. Because with family, school, housekeeping and a business to run, I have time for such things. Then the heavens smiled upon me.
Sure, it’s missing the pecans, but I just added in some extra nuts and in a word….delish! Here’s the adapted recipe:
Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares.
10 oz jar of T.J.’s Pumpkin Butter (I may try the cranberry apple butter next)
1/2 cup of chopped pecans. (If you’re an overachiever, you can roast them first.)
I box yellow cake mix, set aside one cup (I use Duncan Hines super moist)
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan.
  • Divide cake mix, placing all but one cup in a mixing bowl.
  • Stir the melted butter, pecans and one egg into the cake mix until combined.
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  • In another bowl, mix pumpkin butter with two eggs and milk until combined.
  • Spread pumpkin mixture over pressed cake mix.
  • Stir the reserved 1 cup of cake mix with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Then add the softened butter and mix together until crumbly.
  • Sprinkle over the top of the pumpkin layer.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool and cut into 2 ” squares. Serves 24.
Now for my other pumpkin pie alternative, the Pumpkin Roll. Oh how I love the cream cheese frosting! I was first given this recipe by my dear friend Pam 15 years ago. It is a fall classic.
pumpkin roll
Pam’s Pumpkin Roll (It is actually pretty easy)
  • Vegetable cooking spray (I use Pam of course. :)
  • 3  large eggs
  • 1  cup  granulated sugar
  • 3/4  cup all-purpose flour
  • 2  teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 2/3  cup  canned unsweetened pumpkin (Libby’s, libby’s, libby’s on the label, label, label…)
  • 1  teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2  cups  powdered sugar, divided
  • 2  (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4  cup  butter or margarine, softened
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract (use the real deal)
  • 1  teaspoon lemon juice (bottled ok)
Coat bottom and sides of a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray, and line with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; set aside. (Do NOT skip this step!!!)
Beat eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored; gradually add granulated sugar, beating until well combined. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients. Gradually add to egg mixture, beating well. Combine pumpkin and 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and gradually add to mixture, beating well. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Sift 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a 15- x 10-inch rectangle on a clean, dry dish towel~flour cloth works best. Run a knife around edges of pan to loosen cake, and turn cake out onto prepared towel. Peel wax paper off cake. Starting at narrow end, roll up cake and towel together; place, seam side down, on a wire rack to cool completely.
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add remaining 1 cup powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in vanilla and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture on cake, leaving a 1-inch border around edges. Re-roll cake without towel, and place seam side down, on a serving platter. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.
 What desserts are you making?
Come back tomorrow for more party prep and a hilarious video for Tuesday gratefulness.
Love and happiness from,


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Ho dessert making for fact I was actually supposed to make a cake yesterday for our weekly Sunday dinner with the family...and Papa decided to make it instead with Brookie! YAY ME!! LOL!! I loveeeeeeeeeeeee me come PUMPKIN anything though!!! :):):):) AND A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TARA! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Kathy said...

We will be with my sisters and brother this year. I am making a side dish that can be dessert - like - Sweet Potato Casserole and am making a Cappuccino Chip Cake! Not your usual dessert, but everyone loves it.
Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving,
Kathy said...


You look exactly the same as well!
I've had the Williams Sonoma Pumpkin Butter Bars and agree -- they are delicious. I also offer pumpkin icecream at my Thanksgiving dessert bar.

Wishing Tara a wonderful birthday!

Your Friend,

Auntie Em said...

Pumpkin pie has never been a fav of mine either but I am def going to try that pumpkin roll!!! Yummy!
Your table and buffet are so pretty and festive.
Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing! :o)

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Happy Birthday to Tara! I've got news for you friend - you've hardly changed a bit either, of course I'm just going from the photos on your blog. You want to talk un-American? I've never even tasted pumpkin pie. I know. It just does look appetizing to me. These recipes sure do though. said...

HEY! Im your newest follower and LUUUUUUVIN it! I could stay here all day! Could you FedEx all of that food to me IMMEDATELY??? Yummm! I have an interior design buss and doing 14 days of christmas trees and would BEYOND ADORE you to come visit! and i have a GIVEAWAY!



Lisa said...

Happy Happy Birthday to Tara!!!
The pumpkin bars look delish but WAY above my culinary skills level! LOL! I'll just come over here and look at yours. Less calories that way.:)

Dawn @ alteredartists said...

Well Happy Thanksgiving (and Happy Birthday to Tara) I love this post very fun. I adore Pumpkin Chiffon Pie ala Betty Crocker instead of traditional Pumpkin Pie, with real whipped cream of course. My Mom has made this for me each year since childhood. I also adore Heather Bullards Pumpkin Cookies Recipe w the Vanilla Cinnamon Buttercream Drizzle, recommend those whole heartedly.

Have a fabulous week!

French said...

Happy birthday to Tara! and I wonder if she received her gift?? I'm not wild about pumpkin either, but the bars look yummy~

Kim said...

Thanks for passing the pumpkin recipes along. I was just at a church Thanksg. potluck last night, and we could have used an alternative.

Lisa @ akawest said...

Pumpkin anything is wonderful. This year, I am making two pies, using two recipes. I figure we won't feel as guilty eating two slices that way.

Congratulations to your daughter on the blog. I FB liked it. :)

Whimsey Creations said...

Laura, this is really a comment on the blog entry about your daughter. I'm proud of her too! There seemed to be no way to email you so I'm hoping you'll be able to see this. Please think about adding to your blog entry on your daughter that the only way to "Like" is via Twitter or Facebook. Lots of us don't do either because Facebook has become so dangerous as far as hackers - I shut my account down. Thanks!

Crystal said...

OMG! I just want to eat that pumpkin roll right now hehe. I am no cook or baker though so I guess I'll just have to dream of this until I find the courage to make one myself hehe.

~Crystal's Creations~

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Happy Birthday to Tara! My husband is not a fan of pumpkin pie either but he likes pumpkin in other things. Thanks for the recipe...sounds wonderful.

Laura, I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


TRay said...

Hey, Pod!

THANK YOU SO MUCH for this birthday greeting from Blogland! I can't believe I missed this post last week! Thanks to everyone for their good wishes! And, an extra special "Thank you!!" to you and the French Basketeer!! :)
Love & hugs,
Your Pea (aka Tara)