Dessert features sweet flavors of fall

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Usher in the fall season with pumpkin bars made with white whole wheat flour.
Usher in the fall season with pumpkin bars made with white whole wheat flour.
Anna Batts | Special to the Times

This past week has been more than hectic at work with Hurricane Florence at our door, so no time to write a food column. This column, from 2012, features a favorite season recipe. (I'm still using white whole wheat flour, by the way!)

I love getting a surprise in the mail at work, especially if it involves food.

Last week, I got a package wrapped in a fabric flour bag and filled with recipe cards and a coupon for a bag of Gold Medal white whole wheat flour.

The recipes were tempting and included cookies, breads, desserts and even biscuits.

I knew right away that I would be trying this flour. I keep whole wheat flour in my refrigerator and work it into recipes often, but it's not white. I was curious about white whole wheat flour - its taste and its nutritional value.

According to the press release that came with my recipes, Gold Medal's white whole wheat flour is made with hard white spring wheat rather than hard red wheat that goes into many whole wheat flours, and it has the same amount of fiber and protein.

Because the flour is white, it's a safe bet that your family won't notice if you add the white whole wheat flour to your pancakes or muffins.

Gold Medal experts recommend starting out slow if you're adapting recipes and at first substitute white whole wheat flour for 25 to 50 percent of the recipe's flour content.

The recipes they developed and sent to food writers use white whole wheat flour only.

I decided to make pumpkin bars topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting. With fall upon us, I've been eager to make some of my family's fall-weather favorites. For me, recipes made with pumpkin are a special treat.

It didn't take long to mix up this recipe, but I did have to wait two hours for the bars to cool before frosting them, so keep that in mind if you make them. 

The only change I made to this recipe was using light or Neufchatel cream cheese. 

I had a piece of the dessert as soon as I frosted it and loved it. I was pleasantly surprised when I had a refrigerated slice the next day. I loved the dessert cold, too!

My husband also loved this recipe and certainly never complained about the flour I had used. We did discuss that I had used white whole wheat flour and agreed that we really couldn't tell a difference in the pumpkin bars and other similar recipes using plain flour.

If you need to take a sweet dish somewhere this fall, this is a good one. Gold Medal recommends cutting it into 49 pieces (seven rows by seven rows.) 

I confess, our slices were much larger than that! 

But even so, you can have a good number of servings regardless.


4 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

2 cups white whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease bottom and sides of 15x10x1-inch pan with shortening. (I sprayed with baking spray.)

In large bowl, beat eggs, granulated sugar, oil and pumpkin with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves. Spread in pan.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack, about 2 hours.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened (I use reduced fat)

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until smooth and spreadable. Frost bars. Cut into 7 rows by 7 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Gold Medal/ Betty Crocker Kitchens