Like my good friend mav of port2port, I have been baking like crazy lately. In the past week alone, I made brownies, apple cake and tried a new recipe…Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars.

I am prone to great nostalgia and often love eating certain foods at traditional times. For our family, it is always roast beef and yorkshire pudding on Christmas Day. I love a delicious, gooey S’more on the 4th of July made over a campfire on the beach. Candy hearts at Valentine’s Day, candy corn at Halloween and pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. For almost all of these holiday treats, I am happy eating them just once a year. However, I love the pumpkin pie flavors… nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves… and want more of them more of the time!

I tried pumpkin cookies and they weren’t very good. I meant to make pumpkin soup this fall when pumpkins were in season but time got away from me. So, when my neighbor gave me a year’s worth of old cooking magazines and told me that the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars were her new family favorite, I jumped.

Since I had a number of them in my cupboard, I replaced the chocolate chips in the original recipe with chopped Naga Exotic Candy Bars (dark milk chocolate, curry and coconut) from Vosges Haut-Chocolat . Also, I undercooked the bars slightly as I prefer gooey over cakey. Finally, you will need to use canned pumpkin this time of year but there are plenty out there without any additives.

For anyone who doesn’t live in the U.S., I have found that getting pumpkin abroad is quite difficult. I bet you could use almost any roasted and pureed squash. If you try it… let me know!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 t vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
12 ounces chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
Mix together flour, pie spice, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture looks a bit curdled). Reduce speed and mix in dry ingredients just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until edges pull away from the pan and toothpick comes out clean.


(recipe adapted from Everyday Food)