Friday, February 4, 2011

Pumpkin Shortbread Bars with Cream Cheese Glaze

Dear Megatron,

Wow! Our Olive Oil & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies got lots of hits! Fame is surely nigh. 

Here is a recipe I've been meaning to post since Thanksgiving. This year I made loads of pies, as usual, and cranberry sauce - all the obligatory elements. But it was our first Thanksgiving in our new house, and I felt like trying something new out. These bars are delicious. I know pumpkin makes everyone think of T-day, but I think desserts made with winter squash are just the thing as soon as there's a chilly bite to the air, and until the crocuses appear. Also, I *far* prefer the flavor of buttercup squash to pumpkin, or even butternut. But, to each his own squash.

 Pumpkin Shortbread Bars with Cream Cheese Glaze

1 c flour
1/2 c butter
2 T sugar

1 c sugar 
5 T flour
1/2 t baking powder
3 eggs
2 c cooked squash
1/4 c lime juice
1/2 t ginger powder
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t salt

1 c powdered sugar
4 oz cream cheese

walnuts, chopped

1. Using a pastry cutter, slice and dice the flour, butter, and sugar and press into an 8x8 pan. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 for about 15 minutes, or until just browning.

2. Mix custard ingredients well. Pour into pan atop warm shortbread and bake at 375 for about 30 or 40 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool.

3. Toast chopped walnuts on the stovetop in an ungreased skillet. Be careful not to burn these! Anyone who has done this before can tell you that if you look away at the wrong moment, suddenly every last one of your nuts is burnt to a crisp.

4. Cream powdered sugar and cream cheese. Add just enough milk to make the icing pourable - you still want it very thick.

5. Cut the bars into small squares and place then on wax paper or a baking sheet or something. Pour the glaze over them and then sprinkle nuts over that. If you like, grate a bit of fresh nutmeg over the top.