Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trick or Treat


What are you going to prepare for your Halloween treats?

One of the things that I love about fall is seeing nature's bounty. Pecans and pumpkins are some of my favorites that are plentiful this time of year. For example, my parents and I were walking near our house the other day and saw lots of pecans that had fallen from the trees and were just ready to be gathered. As I cracked some open with my hands, I discovered that it was like dipping my hand into a Halloween candy bag: sometimes pulling out a treat and sometimes a trick. For me, the treat would be a piece of chocolate and the trick- licorice which I do not like. But in this instance the treat was a meaty, delicious pecan and the trick was a dry, crumbly pecan.
*Tip: meaty pecans usually weigh more in the shell than dried ones

Pumpkins are not only for carving but also great in savory and sweet treats. For a simple yummy pumpkin dessert, I swirl spiced pumpkin puree in my No Name Bar batter. What are No Name Bars you might ask? Well they are a mix between a chess square and cheesecake. I call them no name bars because they are too good for words. Ha ha! Clever huh! One of the desserts found in my cookbook- Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm.

Pumpkin No Name Bars

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (can pumpkin can be used)
pinch of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9 inch baking dish.
To make crust: Mix the melted butter and sugar together in a medium bowl.  In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined.  Stir in the vanilla. Spread the mixture into bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 5 minutes.
To make the filling: Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs and mix until combined. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Stir in the confectioner’s sugar and mix well. Spread the mixture on top of the crust.

For the swirl: Mix pumpkin puree and spices. Spoon two lines lengthwise of the pan, a few inches from each other. Using a knife, swirl the pumpkin into the cream cheese batter.
Bake until set, about 38 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

For more Halloween treats, check out my other blog posts. My Grown-Up S'mores will melt-in-your- mouth and bring you back to your childhood. You will also love my cream cheese pumpkins with cranberry chipotle sauce.

Enjoy! Happy Trick or Treating!


  1. We LOVE pumpkin treats in fall. Dana cooks pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. She keeps the house warm baking until spring.

  2. Mike
    Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies sounds good! I will have to give that a try.