Pumpkin Carrot Bars & Microwave Applesauce

Good evening and come on into the 'Net Porch and have a cup of coffee and one of my new Pumpkin Carrot Bars. I have wanting to bake this for awhile for after making the Sweet Potato Cupcakes, a similar recipe has been running around in my mind. Today I tried it out and it is really good.

I also made applesauce in the microwave to use in the bars for I think that bought applesauce is completely tasteless so try this applesauce to use in the Pumpkin Bars. It is also very good alone as a dessert or I use it as a spread on toast for there is no sugar in it. You can add brown sugar if you like but if the apples are sweet and with the cinnamon you don't miss the sugar. We also like chunky applesauce and I leave the peelings on the apples for the added flavor, color and texture. It is really better with the peelings.

Microwave Chunky Applesauce

4 cups apples in large chunks – washed and peels on - about 6 apples
1 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
zest from orange
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp apple pie seasoning
grated nutmeg or a couple of pinches

Cut the washed apples in eighths and cut into large chunks. I use the apple slicer for this. Put in microwave proof bowl – I like glass – add the other ingredients and fold together with spatula. Don't over mix and bruise the apples. Cover loosely with plastic wrap – leave a vent – and microwave for about 7 minutes. After 5 min. check and see if tender. Mash with potato masher but leave chunky. I don't add sugar but if you like, add about ¼ cup brown sugar.
Makes about 2 cups applesauce

The apple pie seasoning is new to me but it really adds a great flavor. If you haven't discovered the wonderful, full flavor of grating your own nutmeg you are missing a great experience. It is much better than the ground.

The Pumpkin Carrot Bars are similar to the Sweet Potato Cupcakes and just as good. By adding the grated carrots, you are introducing a little texture and a little bit of vegetable and the added color is very pretty. If you try this, let me know.

Pumpkin Carrot Bars

1 box Betty Crocker Carrot cake mix
½ tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Apple pie seasoning
grated nutmeg or pinch or dried
1 can pumpkin – not the pie mix but plain pumpkin
1 cup applesauce
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice or from carton
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup coarsely grated carrots
1 tsp. Orange flavoring
1 cup chopped pecans
zest from orange – about 1 tsp.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees or 325 for glass dish
Spray 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray

In mixer bowl combine cake mix, pumpkin, applesauce, orange juice and carrots and mix on medium speed until mixed well. Add the cranberries and flavoring and mix. Add the pecans and mix by hand until well mixed.
Pour into prepared pan and bake about 25 – 30 minutes or until tested. It make take a little longer according to your oven. Remove from oven, cool on rack in the pan and cut into bars. Can sprinkle with powdered sugar for a little extra sweetness if desired. This will be a dense bar cookie and is good for breakfast with milk or coffee. It is also good reheated and served with additional Chunky Applesauce on top.

If you use my microwaved chunky applesauce, you don't have to add the orange juice, spices or cranberries.

This is a good recipe and I hope you will try it and let me know if something needs tweaking. Would love to hear from you.

Well, the day is drawing to a close, getting later and time to read awhile. I have just finished Michael Palmer's The First Patient and started James Patterson's The 9th Judgement and it is good. Both are books you won't put down until they are finished if you like mysteries.

Ya'll be careful going home and come back to see me. Enjoy the recipes and let me know what you think, please.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach

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