Not working on Sundays has a lot of ancillary benefits.

Sleeping late is the easy one. Not DVR’ing football games is another one- although kids’ sports schedules usually makes that a moot point. But maybe the tastiest benefit is that I have time to do some cooking.

With yesterday being Hoshana Rabah, there was no work for me, and fall was in full effect, replete with a gusty wind, running with long sleeves, and a bye week for the Patriots.

Even though I had made pumpkin pancakes for breakfast on Saturday and pumpkin bread for Saturday dinner to pair with butternut squash soup, I still had a pumpkiny itch that needed scratching. With the hopes of carving out some new culinary territory, I opened another can of pumpkin, added some easy ingredients, and voila, butter-less and chocolate-less pumpkin brownies bars? treats emerged.

Prep time is five minutes MAYBE. No excuses. Enjoy.Traditional Hoshanah Rabah Cuisine: Pumpkin Bars


1 can pumpkin

½ cup brown sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp nutmeg

2 tsp vanilla

3 ½ cups flour

2 cups applesauce

1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Add dry ingredients and mix well
  3. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients and pumpkin
  4. Combine bowls and stir vigorously
  5. Pour into 8×8 lightly greased pan and smooth the surface
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes

The insides will stay moist, but you don’t want them sticky, so keep checking them after a half hour to make sure you don’t under- or overdo it.

If you do it right, they’re going to have a nice, chewy consistency with a delicious autumnal taste. You can certainly add (or subtract) sugar to adjust the taste to your liking, or add ¼ cup of oatmeal to give them some extra texture.

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