Halloween is over and I barely remember it.
I didn’t get to go trick or treating, I didn’t get to dress in that “sexy manatee” costume I had planned, and I didn’t eat nearly as many pumpkin-flavored goods as I wanted to.
October was a bust and I want a do-over.
Fortunately we still have one major pumpkin-centric holiday coming up, holla! And even though I kind of hate pumpkin pie, I am aaaallllllll over other pumpkin desserts like a sexy manatee on a bikini, so expect to see a few more pumpkin goodies before the month is through.
First up: Pumpkin chocolate chip bars. I’ve long had a love affair with pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, so it’s only natural that I’d explore these flavors in as many combinations as possible.
These bars have all the best parts of pumpkin cake and pumpkin cookies, combined. They’re really soft and tender in the middle, like cake, but when they’re fresh out of the oven they have a crackling top and crispy edges like a cookie. (After they’ve sat for a day or two they’re entirely soft all the way through, like a pillow…but now I’ve lost my metaphor.)
And the chocolate chips! Did I mention the chocolate? 12 sweet ounces of ever-lovin’ chocolate thrown in there, so that every bite is a bit like fall and a bit like candy.
I guess I didn’t miss Halloween after all.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp salt
- 8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling
- 12 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray, and set it aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Place the butter and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix them together on medium speed with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat in the egg and the vanilla.
- Add the pumpkin puree, and mix well. At this point the mixture might look a little bit curdled, which is completely normal. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients until they’re combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the pumpkin bars at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, just until the edges pull away and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.