When I was in high school, I worked in an ice cream and candy shop. During the holidays we made hundreds and hundreds of gift baskets and cookie trays that went out during the Christmas holiday. One doctor did something that I really thought was smart and thoughtful. Instead of sending out his gifts during Christmas, he sent them a few days before Thanksgiving. He thanked the recipients for their service and for sending business his way. I cannot think of a better time to show gratitude and thankfulness than Thanksgiving. The smart part was that no one else sent gifts at that time. His gift stood out even more because it was during a time when gifts are not usually given. I remember this all these years later, and have decided that it is a great time to recognize my children’s teachers. I am thankful and grateful for them and all that they do for my children and our family.
A few weeks ago I went to my Nonnie’s house and when I walked in she handed me a stack of recipes that I needed to make for her. She was having a get together at her house and I was happy to help her out. I should mention that she does not really eat desserts, and I cannot remember a time that she ever made a big deal out of eating something sweet. All day long she kept coming into the kitchen asking me if I had made the pumpkin butter bars yet. The recipe she gave me came from a handout she got in a Williams-Sonoma and subsequently lost quite a few years ago. She went to great lengths to track this recipe down. Her copy has lots of drips and blobs on it and written in the corner, “very good”. She buys a few jars of this pumpkin butter every year in anticipation of making these bars. The recipe calls for the pumpkin butter that they sell in the store, but you can use whichever kind you like, a little shy of two cups. She was right, these were worth being excited about and were the first thing on the buffet table to go.
I had these adorable labels made from Pinhole Press. I used a simple iPhone photo of the kids, a short message, and 5 minutes later, I had a really personal gift tag. I made the pumpkin butter bars, and gave each teacher about half of the recipe. I want them to be able to serve them at Thanksgiving if they want, so I wanted to give a generous sized portion. I lined the inside of the box with parchment paper, added the bars, closed the box, and added my label. So easy, so cute, and not expensive at all. You can even order them with boxes – one stop shopping.
Pinhole Press is offering 33% off holiday cards for Baked Bree readers Nov. 13th – Dec. 2nd (Cyber Monday). Use code: bakedbree to redeem that offer.
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter
1 (13.5-ounce) jar pumpkin butter (I used the William-Sonoma brand)
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons cold butter
Reserve one cup of the cake mix in a small bowl. Mix together remaining cake mix, melted butter, and 1 egg.
Press into the bottom of a 9×13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Mix together pumpkin butter, milk, and 2 eggs.
Pour over the crust.
Add the flour, sugar, and butter to the reserved cake mix.
Use a fork or pastry cutter to cut the butter until it resembles small peas.
Sprinkle over the pumpkin butter layer.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
How cute are these labels?
Line the box with parchment paper and add the cooled bars.
Close the box and add the label to close.