The holidays are a time to gather together with those you love and reflect on the highlights and sacred moments from the previous year. My family suffers from sweet tooth, and it is passed down in our genetic makeup. That being said, our favorite way to share grace is with delicious treats in our bellies!
1. Momma’s Iced Pumpkin Bars:
Beat three eggs in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer until foamy; add two cups white sugar, ¾ cup canola oil, ½ cup water and one can of pumpkin puree. Beat on medium speed until incorporated, two minutes. Mix 2 ½ cup flour, 1 and ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon cinnamon and ¾ teaspoon nutmeg — this is the secret — in a separate bowl. Beat flour mixture into egg mixture on low speed until just combined, one minute. Pour batter into the prepared, sprayed pan. Bake in the preheated oven at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Completely cool. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together in a bowl with an electric hand mixer until creamy. Gradually add ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth. Spread frosting evenly over cooled pumpkin cake; sprinkle with cinnamon.
Optional: Add chocolate chips or nuts.
These can pretty consistently be found in our fridge after entering the month of October.
My precious mother is thought highly of amongst my friends on campus for her thick, creamy pumpkin cake, as they always bring a sense of home and are constantly delivered in each of her visits, or as she is passing through.
2. Gramma’s Butterscotch “Blonde” Brownies:
Melt butter over the stovetop. Remove from heat and stir in one cup dark brown sugar, one egg and a splash of vanilla; mix until completely incorporated. Stir in remaining ingredients including ¾ cup flour, one teaspoon baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt. The mixture will be thick. Spread in a greased baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. The bake time will depend on the dish you choose!
Optional: Add butterscotch chips or nuts.
It is rare to meet an individual who is not a fan of brownies, but it’s a hot take to make them butterscotch! Nope, no chocolate in these brownies. These are always passed around our table at any holiday.
Grandma likes to include nuts in her recipe, but I appreciate the simplicity of the butterscotch chip! These blonde delicious treats cut best in their pan when they are cooled, but I will warn you that it is almost impossible to wait this long! Let that delectable brown sugar smell fill your home this holiday season.