Yummers.

Get ready for “Diet Killer–Part 2.”

A couple of weeks ago, I made a new recipe called Pumpkin Spice Bars.

One bite of these, and I knew I had to immediately get them out of my house, lest I eat the entire pan, gain a jeans size, and free-fall into an orgy of Ben and Jerry’s, Fruity Pebbles and Blueberry Poptarts. These bars were so good, that they instantly became my personal Kryptonite.

In an effort to save myself, I sent the pan to my husband’s office. I was unsure what the reception would be, because I’ve been known to have the taste buds of a schizophrenic sometimes.

By the end of the day, the empty pan was returned to my husband, already washed, and with a note that said, “Thanks—More Please.”

I suggest you make these soon, and bask in your newfound popularity.

Pumpkin Spice Bars

  • 1 package spice cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (the good stuff, no imitation!)
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (use the imitation, and I’ll haunt you)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white chocolate, or white chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup regular uncooked oats
  • powdered sugar for garnish

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 4 ingredients, mixing well with a fork. Reserve 1 cup of this crumb mixture to make the topping later; place these crumbs in a separate bowl, because you will be adding stuff to it. Press remaining crumbs into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes, or until puffy and set. Cool pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. It should look something like this:

2) Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds, or until creamy. Add brown sugar, egg, pumpkin, 1 tsp. vanilla extract; beat until blended. It should look like this:

Pour filling over baked crust.

3) Stir white chocolate, 1 Tbsp. melted butter and oats into the 1 cup of crumbs that you reserved earlier when making the crust:

(clearly, I may have gone overboard on the white chocolate…I’m a freak like that) Sprinkle this mixture over the filling:

4) Bake the bars at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until edges begin to brown and center is set. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. At this point, I like to chill the bars, because it makes them easier to cut into pretty portions, and I think the taste and texture is a little better if they are served on the cool (but not cold) side; After they’ve been refrigerated, I let them sit out about 20-30 minutes before serving. Garnish with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, if you are so inclined:

Make these, and I bet you have a new BFF by the end of the day.

The Best Fudge I’ve Ever Had

We interrupt the Halloween Party recap to bring you my favorite recipe find of the month. I came across this recipe in Sharon Bower’s book Goulish Goodies. Even though I have never been a fan of fudge, this recipe seemed easy enough to try, and therefore ideal to include in our party menu. I loved the idea of a dessert that actually had the pumpkin and spice flavors of Fall, since the rest of the  selection was geared more toward the kids.

Needless to say, I loved this stuff, which is definitely saying something since I don’t like fudge. My husband says it may be the best fudge he has ever had. I probably should re-name it “Diet Killer,” because I was hard pressed not to eat the whole dang pan. Luckily, I remembered that I really like my skinny jeans, and exercised a little self control…though I am having to suck in the tummy this week.

I have never made fudge before, but luckily for me, this recipe was pretty much fool-proof.

Vanilla-Spice Pumpkin Fudge

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use the good stuff!!! no imitation!!!)

1) Grease a 9-inch square baking dish

2) Combine first 10 ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved; stop stirring and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for a full 5 minutes without stirring.

3) Remove pan from heat and stir in the white chocolate chips, pecans and vanilla. Stir until the chips are completely melted (this took  longer than I expected, so just be patient and keep stirring. It probably took me 4 minutes to get the chips completely incorporated). Pour fudge into prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into pieces, and serve. Try to exercise some self-control.

Tell your skinny jeans I’m sorry.