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Frosted Pistachio Bars

Bar cookies are the best-so fast and easy. Go as spooky as you dare when decorating this pan for Halloween. Shannon Sheehy, Chesterfield, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios, optional
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Optional decorations: candy eyeballs, M&M's minis, milk chocolate M&M's, Life Savers hard candies and gummies, regular and mini peanut butter cups, licorice twists, shoestring licorice, Starburst fruit chews, mega and regular Smarties, Nerds, Runts, Snaps chewy candies, candy corn, tiny-size Chiclets gum, butterscotch hard candies, Rolo candies, Caramel Creams and PayDay candy bar


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk flour, pudding mix, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk egg, oil, water and vanilla until blended; stir into flour mixture. If desired, stir in pistachios. (Dough will be stiff.)
  • Press dough into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar. Spread over top. Decorate as desired.
  • Cut into bars before serving. Store in the refrigerator.
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