Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Bars

Today my Dad turns 92!  I made these Pumpkin Cranberry Bars for the staff that takes such good care of him in the nursing home.  He has dementia, and thinks that I am his sister, Ruby.  It's not easy to go and see him, because the man sitting in the wheel chair is only the shell of the person that was the father I knew.  He used to live and breathe sports, and now you mention, St. Louis Cardinals, and it doesn't even register. So Sad.   My only consolation is that he is content where he is, at the nursing home, and all of the staff love him. He loves to watch the birds at the bird feeders and imitate birds sounds.  Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you!

I made him a big chocolate cupcake, (picture to come later), and I always bring him Mac Donald's coffee, which he loves.  He had a friend who used to bring him Mac Donald's coffee every week, but sadly Delbert passed away.  So now I bring the Mac Donald's coffee, when I come.  Simple pleasures when you are 92.  I will also bring picture's of my son's wedding, and see if he can recognize his family.

I knew when I saw Emily's Sour Cream Pumpkin Bars@Cleanliness is Next to Godliness I knew that I had to make them. They were a healthier version of my old pumpkin bar recipe.  I added more Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream, and dried cranberries for a little contrast.  Also these bars had part whole wheat flour, and less fat.  The bars were very moist , full of pumpkin flavor, and spices, a perfect complement to the dried cranberries, several of the flavors of Thanksgiving in one bar.  I used the 15x10x1 pan.  Now instead of a cream cheese frosting or glaze, I did a few lines of vanilla and chocolate glaze, just something simple for a 92 year old's birthday!

You can make these Pumpkin Cranberry Bars just because it's November, and almost halfway to Thanksgiving,  someone has a birthday, or just because you can never have enough pumpkin recipes. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bars

Adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens and Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Ingredients :

½ cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3/4 cup low fat or non fat vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans( I didn’t add)

1cup. dried cranberries

Directions :

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Using butter or nonstick cooking spray, grease a 15x10x1 baking pan, or a 9x13 baking pan (note: you will add approximately 5 to 10 minutes to your baking time using a 9x13 pan). I used a 15x10x1 pan.
3. Using an upright mixer or a hand mixer beat the butter for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, beating until the mixture becomes fluffy, approximately 1 minute.
4. Add the eggs, pumpkin, yogurt, and vanilla, beating until combined, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Slowly add the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, beating until combined.
6. Using a spatula, fold in the nuts, if used and dried cranberries
7. Spread the mixture evenly into a greased baking pan and back for about 25 minutes (for the 15x10x1 pan), or until a toothpick comes out clean.


  1. Happy birthday to your dad! Living to be 92 is a blessing in itself. To think of all he has seen and done! Dealing with dementia can be difficult, but remember that his inner soul remains the same.
    These bars are a great blend of flavors and I like the way you topped them. I am sure your day enjoyed them. Have a great day!

  2. Make that "dad" enjoyed them. Sorry for the typo.

  3. Tina,
    That's OK. These , bars are wonderful, and have all of the flavors of Thanbkdgiving.

  4. Oh Becky these bars came out so beautiful. I'm crying a little tear for you, you are so strong to go and take care of him. One can only hope for someone to do the same for us if we were in that situation. I hope it was a wonderful Birthday for him and that you have him for more years too.

  5. Gina-
    Thank you so much for your sweet words. These are really good bars, even for a birthday. Glad to see you back.

  6. Happy Birthday to your dad! We share the same birthday! The bars look beautiful, and I am sure the staff appreciated them. It is so hard watching those we love grow old, isn't it?

  7. Jill- Happy Belated Birthday! Thank you for your sweet words.

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  9. Wow! Becky, I am so excited you decided to give this one a whirl! I love the addition of cranberries!! Yumm!

    92 years!!! What a blessing :)

  10. Emuly- These were a hit by the staff, who takes crae of my Dad. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  11. What a gorgeous treat, Becky. They sound wonderful and look delicious. I hope you have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

  12. Mary-Thank you for your sweet words.

  13. Oh, Becky...Belated Happy Birthday to your Dad. My dad is getting old, too.

    Your pumpkin-cranberry bars look delicious ;-).

  14. Oh, Becky-you got me on this one! Love, love, the delicious, and so pretty pumpkin-cranberry bars. The two-tone drizzle makes it so festive...a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving!
    God Bless you sweet dad...can't believe he is 92!
    He looks amazing, and you are such a wonderful daughter, so caring, and loving!

  15. What a lovely post and what lovely pumpkin bars. Sending your dad the sweetest wishes!

  16. I am a huge pumpkin fan and these stopped me dead in my tracks gorgeous presentation and they are mouth watering... Love them!

  17. pumpkin cranberry bars are thanksgiving perfect! :) sending some #squashlove to you!

  18. Yummy pumpkin cranberry bars! I want one right now!


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