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Healthified Pumpkin-Spice Bars

Is anyone else obsessed with anything and everything Pumpkin flavored this time of year? I love pumpkin muffins, pumpkin tea and pretty much everything else pumpkin related. A friend recently brought us some Pumpkin Spice Bars after the arrival of our baby, and they were delicious, but very indulgent with cream cheese frosting and the works. It inspired me to make a healthy version. I had an old recipe for Pumpkin Spice Bars that called for 2 cups (!!!!) of sugar. a ton of oil and white flour so I played with it a bit and here is what I came up with. The key when reducing the sugar is to add extra spices so you don't miss the sweetness. Here's the end result:

4 eggs

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. oil

1/2 c. applesauce

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)

2 c. whole wheat flour

2 t. baking powder

3 t. cinnamon

1. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

optional- 1 c. raisins or 1/2 c. chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.

Mix eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce and pumpkin in large bowl with a spoon.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Spread in pan and bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool and enjoy! If you want to get fancy, dust the top with powdered sugar once it has cooled.

And sorry this isn't a better picture, we ate them all too fast before I could take a picture!

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