I love fall. Fall brings with it apples, pumpkins, and the beauty of rainbow colored leaves. I love the chill in the air and filling the house with the warm scents of old fashion home-cooked meals and delectable baked goods. Nothing warms my heart and soul more than spending my Sunday roasting dinner and baking a pan of goodies for the week. And, last Sunday I did just that.
I kept seeing multiple recipes in and around blog land for "Pumpkin Blondies". I love a good "Blondie". LOVE. And, I have been on the hunt to add some more pumpkinlicious-ness to my repertoire of fall baking. I have mastered an amazing pumpkin roll that gets requested every year at Thanksgiving and my husband drools at the mere mention of my pumpkin muffins with my homemade cream cheese frosting. All I was missing was a good fall cookie/bar thingy.
I had really been hoping that this would be it. I admit, while these are good and tasty I was left a little disappointed. When I read the words "BLONDIE", in reference to baking, I expect something that is soft and chewy - kind of like a cookie, but much more substantial. Suffice to say, had these been labeled Pumpkin Bars or Pumpkin Snack Cake I don't think I would have felt a shred of disappointment. Because, that is what they are. They are very dense and cake like.Don't get me wrong - they really are pumpkinlicious. And, the spicy sweetness of the pumpkin and cinnamon is beautifully complimented by the addition of the dark chocolate chips. It's just that I wouldn't call them a "Blondie".Pumpkin Snack Cake
*recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg (more or less - I used a just a little shy of a full teaspoon)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (I was out of regular brown sugar and only had some Splenda Brown Sugar blend for baking on hand. Did not affect the taste what so ever)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin puree
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides. Grease with nonstick cooking spray. (I did the whole line with parchment thing - I think it was a bit over-kill. These bars are so moist that as long as you grease your pan well, you should be good to go)
2. In bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. Using a mixer, preferably a stand mixer (I used my beloved Kitchen Aid Stand Mix - and NO, I am not a Kitchen Aid spokes person, I just love my Red Stand mixer that much that I feel the need to tell you about it every single chance I get) cream butter and sugars on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined, then add and beat in pumpkin puree. The mixture is going to look nasty - almost like it is curdled. Don't worry - it's ok. It will work itself out. Trust me.
4. On low speed, add your dry ingredients until just combined.
5. Gently fold in your chocolate chip by hand.
6. Spread batter evenly in your prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes.
7. Cool completely in pan - or if you like me, take a fork and do a little taste testing after its been out of the oven for 15 minutes.
These kept really well for me, all week, on the counter, in an airtight container. However, by day 3 the top does get a little sticky. Wednesday night I moved them from the counter to the fridge. And, let me tell you - reheated in the microwave, for about 10 seconds just to take the fridge chill off - DIVINE! Also goes great with a strongly brewed cup of coffee.