Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Squares

I've made these for the past couple of years in the fall, ever since I first got the recipe out of Everyday Food's November 2004 issue. Everyone always really likes them. They taste like pumpkin pie with chocolate chips mixed in, but in bar form like brownies. I like them a lot.

No changes were made to the recipe, but I did bake them for an extra 15 minutes. Pumpkin is very wet, so sometimes it takes longer for these to cook all the way through. Make sure that when you stick a toothpick in it doesn't come out gooey. If that happens, put some foil over the outer edges of the squares and bake for 10-15 more minutes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, 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 purée (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.

Notes:
-If you can’t find pumpkin-pie spice, substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon each allspice and cloves (all ground).
-In addition to keeping the cake from sticking to the pan, lining the pan with foil makes it easy to lift it out after baking.

Yield: 2 dozen

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