Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

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The calendar may only say September but here in Belgium the weather has been feeling decidedly fall like for weeks now. And there is nothing like fall weather to make me want to fire up the oven and start baking. Purists may claim it is too early to break out the pumpkin but I disagree. I love pumpkin and for me, baked pumpkin treats are the hallmark of fall. There are so many possibilities from pies and puddings to cookies and bread……

But if you love pumpkin and fall baking as much as I do, try these pumpkin chocolate chip bars adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod . They are so easy to make and are even more delicious to eat. Years ago I became a convert to using miniature chocolate chips in my baking. Their small size make them go farther so you can use less if you like. Or use the amount called for in the recipe and experience extra chocolate goodness. How can you argue with that? I like to eat these bars slightly warm (popped in the microwave for a few seconds if they aren’t fresh from the oven) with a cup of coffee or tea.  So welcome fall with these sweet treats.

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP BARS

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 package (12 ounces) miniature semi sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch baking pan and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the four, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer and a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth.
  • Reduce the speed to medium, add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
  • Add the pumpkin puree and beat until combined. The batter might look slightly curdled at this point but that is OK.
  • Reduce the speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients until just combined then use a rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
  • Cool the bars in the pan then cut into squares and serve.

Yields: 20 small bars

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