Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

This time of year, I want nothing more than to bake with pumpkin…and butter. When those two ingredients are warming together in the oven – with a slew of warm spices – and filling my home with an overwhelmingly comforting aroma, I immediately become aware that fall has arrived.

On Friday, I worked from home since my car was out of commission. Z was also working from home, and since it was a cold, kind of dreary day outside, I decided to make our work day just a little bit better…by making these bars.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
Yields: 24 bars
Adapted from MarthaStewart.com
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-3/4 tsp. ginger
-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
-1 tsp. garam masala (optional)
-1 tsp. baking soda
-3/4 tsp. salt
-1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 1/4 cups sugar
-1 large egg
-2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 cup canned pumpkin puree
-1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides (I used a slightly smaller pan, and it worked fine - it just made thicker bars, and took a few minutes longer to cook). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2.) With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
3.) Spread batter evenly in 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. Cool completely in pan.
4.) Lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). Peel off foil, and use a serrated knife to cut into 24 squares (my smaller pan made about 16).

These pumpkin bars would be just as moist and chocked full of chocolate chips without the garam masala, but this spice – typically used in North Indian and South Asian cuisines – add just a touch of exotic flavor to these bars. The garam masala I have consists of cloves, cinnamon, cumin and coriander, to name a few, and I found that it blended beautifully with the pumpkin, ginger and nutmeg. I also use this spice in a wide variety of Indian dishes (I also used some in my pumpkin pie last year).

Are you a fan of fall baking? What have you made so far this season?

P.S. For my vegan version of this recipe, click here.


  1. My main girl Martha always has some awesome pumpkin recipes this time of year - I've made more than a few of them and always been happy with the result. These look chewy, moist, and most certainly crowd pleasing! The perfect thing for me to bring into work to make friends :)

  2. I love pumpkin and chocolate chips together!

  3. That's so funny. I made pumpkin bars on Saturday! Crazy. Definitely the season for all things pumpkin!

  4. Replies
    1. Hey James, I bought it at Whole Foods!

  5. I love anything chocolate and pumpkin. The garam masala sounds like a tasty addition. I love fall baking, but sadly I haven't had a chance to bake anything yet this fall.