I am not a creature of habit when it comes to baking. It’s not because I hate tradition- in fact, I love food-centric traditions. It’s just that there are so many recipes I want to try, and so few chances to try them. So I tend to try something new every time I bake, hoping to cross more things off my rather long “to bake” list.
But: these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars are a notable exception. I first made this recipe in 2013, and the last couple years, I’ve just started to crave them as fall sets in. They’re such a wonderful mix of a comforting, cake-y texture with a great mix of spices, smooth subtle pumpkin, and bits of chocolate in every bite. And they’re really easy to make, too: a classic bar recipe that has you mix the dry ingredients, cream the wetter ingredients, then blend the two together. You can pull these together in about an hour- which means you’re only 60 minutes away from enjoying them right this second!
I brought this batch to work, but I’ve brought them to parties in the past. And then there was that time I brought them to a lecture and passed them out to friends in little baggies. As one does.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
Source: Two Peas and Their Pod
Yield: 1 9×13 pan of bars- I think I ended up with 30 pieces somehow but that just means I wasn’t cutting very evenly!
Suggested equipment: a mixer
Total Time: ~1 hour
Cook Time: ~40 minutes
I broke the original recipe into a few more detailed steps and wrote my own commentary below.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice (easy to make your own, sample recipe here)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (so set it out a bit before you start to actually make the recipe)
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Step by Step Directions
Get prepped to bake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and set aside
Make your dough
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside
- With a stand or electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth
- Beat in egg and vanilla until combined
- Add pumpkin puree and mix well. The mixture will look somewhat curdled
- Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined
- Fold in chocolate chips (I do this part by hand)
Bake your bars
- Spread batter evenly in prepared pan
- Bake bars for 35-40 minutes or 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
- Cool bars completely in pan. Cut into squares and serve