HAPPY HALLOWEEN, everyone!!!!! It’s finally here!!!
I love Halloween. I love anything that celebrates fall. Fall is a delight! I’m going to be savoring these last few weeks of it, blocking out that other holiday season that will start hitting us over the head starting tomorrow. Let me not speak of it today!
Today, in honor of the spookiness, I have a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie bar recipe!
This recipe is the result of my first attempt at making a cookie that includes pumpkin puree as an ingredient. I’m pretty pleased with this incarnation of it. The pumpkin flavor and associated spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice – the quartet that make up the ubiquitous Pumpkin Spice) are not too overpowering. The result is the perfect cookie to enjoy with a mug of mulled cider or hot chocolate – or as dessert post Hallow-chili dinner.
Speaking of chili, I’m missing a shindig featuring some of that glorious spicy meaty goodness tonight to (finally) pass out candy at my house.
Confession: this is my sixth Halloween living in my neighborhood, and I’ve evaded trick-or-treaters every year prior to this. Each year, I’ve thought about passing candy out, and then I’ve been like, nah . . . I’m gonna not be home instead.
Not very festive, I know! When I was a preteen, I loved passing out candy – but I lived in a neighborhood where our all-time high was the year we got something like 12 or 16 trick-or-treaters. That year was crazy! Most years, it was about four, six, eight – single-digits. Passing out candy basically entailed getting up one to three times to answer the door – a few leg-stretch breaks from chilling in my cozy living room and watching The Simpsons Halloween specials. It was awesome.
I’ve decided I need to turn on my porch light and get back into the game this year. I have no idea how many kids I will get here. Maybe it will be a constant assault, and I’ll run out of candy in five minutes! I think that’s the real reason why I’ve never participated in this neighborhood: I’m afraid of coming up short. In a perfect world, I’d be the woman handing out king-size candy bars like those awesome houses in the treat-or-treater-sparse neighborhood of my youth. But king-size candy bars are a little out of my budget for kid counts higher than the single digits. I’m running on about three bags’ worth of fun-size candies.
Maybe if I run out of candy, I can offer the kids some cookie bars.
-1 3/4 tightly-packed cups brown sugar
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
-3/4 cup pumpkin puree
-2 tsp. vanilla extract
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
-2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. ground ginger
-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
-1/2 tsp. allspice
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch oven-safe baking dish with your preferred oil or butter (I used coconut oil).
To a large mixing bowl add the brown sugar and butter and mix well. Crack the egg into a separate bowl, then whisk in with the other ingredients; add the pumpkin puree and vanilla, as well. Then add the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Mix well with an electric hand mixer or some old-fashioned elbow grease. Once the batter is a uniform consistency, stir in the chocolate chips. Evenly spread the dough into the baking dish and let bake for 30-35 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean (but be careful not to over-bake). And that’s it! You have a delicious fall treat that you can make and enjoy into the Thanksgiving season!