Monday, September 24, 2012

Kiddo in the Kitchen: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

{This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Toll House® Morsels, the perfect special ingredient for all of your family’s favorite treats!} 

There is no easier way to get your kids to help in the kitchen than to pull out a bag of chocolate chips.  Am I right?  The highlights of childhood baking are as follows: eating chocolate chips straight from the bag and licking the beaters.

{Your kitty may even try to get in on the action.}

These pumpkin chocolate chip bars have been on the blog before, but they are so incredibly good and so incredibly perfect for fall that they needed a repeat.

The bars are cake-y, spicy, and studded with chocolate chips.  They'll rock your bake sale, lunchbox, picnic...I promise.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars 
{adapted from Everyday Food, Nov. 2004}

2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour (we substituted 1 cup for white whole wheat)
1 & 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 & 1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 13x 9" pan with foil.

Whisk together the flour, spices, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.  Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Beat in the pumpkin.

On low speed, add in the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan, an offset spatula is great for this.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with loose crumbs, but not wet,

Cool completely on a wire rack.  To cut, lift the foil from the pan.  Use a bench scraper to cut into bars.

Yep....they're good. And, with a cup of pumpkin in the mix, they're practically health food.

Make them with your kids, or grandkids (or by yourself), you'll be happy you did!

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