Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10×15 inch rimmed jelly roll pan with avocado oil or non-stick spray.
Make the brown butter: Add the diced butter to a small skillet or pot. Heat the skillet to medium heat. The butter will start to melt as the skillet heats up. Allow the butter to bubble and “cook” until it begins to change from a bright yellow color to a golden brown color. Continually stir the butter as you see the foam start to dissipate and brown bits begin to form in the bottom of the pan. Cook and stir the butter until it is a golden brown color and has a nutty aroma. Remove the butter from the heat and transfer to a heat safe dish to let cool for 10 minutes.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice to a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until well combined and set aside.
To another large mixing bowl add the apple sauce, pumpkin puree, dark brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until well combined and then add the brown butter. Whisk again until all of the wet ingredients have been well combined.
Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just mixed. Then, pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan, using an offset spatula to spread the batter into an even layer in the pan.
Bake the bars at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the bars completely on a wire rack. Be sure that bars are completely cooled and not warm before adding the frosting or slicing.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting: Add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixing bowl. Cream the butter and cream cheese together then add the confectioner’s sugar and mix until well incorporated without any lumps. Next, add in the vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and fresh orange juice. Mix on high again until well combined and fluffy.
Once the pumpkin bars have completely cooled, cover them with the cream cheese frosting. Then, place them in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to help the frosting set before slicing and serving. Garnish with a bit a of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice if you like. Enjoy!
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