I am a sucker for Halloween themed cookbooks. Most of these impulse purchases end in disappointment, the books full of gimmicks and fluff. All filler and no substance.
But over the summer I came across 'Ghoulish Goodies' by Sharon Bowers at Half Price Books and have been happily surprised recipe by recipe. These Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars, which I baked in an 8x8 inch ceramic dish to make them more cake-like, are honest to God delicious.
She sells them as being adult oriented with the whole wheat flour and spices. I sell them as one of the best coffee cakes I've ever had. Even my husband who is VERY
So tis the season for pumpkin and things that go bump in the night and baked goods that help you get through a 3 am feeding followed by another at 4 am and 5:30 am. Did I mention my baby is a vampire?
One last thing. I added toasted walnut pieces which I think turned these up to 11. You know you're getting old when you're tempted to add nuts to about every baked good. I can remember being little and wishing like hell my mom had left them out!
Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Bars (or Coffee Cake)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I was out so used more nutmeg)
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 (12 oz) package (2 cups) semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup to 1 cup lightly toasted walnut pieces, if desired
Preheat oven to 350. For bars, grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside. For coffee cake, grease an 8x8 ceramic pan with nonstick spray and see my tip below.
Combine the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a medium bowl.
Beat the butter, two sugars, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the pumpkin puree until well combined, then add in the flour mixture in about 3 parts, beating each time until just combined. Use a wooden spoon to fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts then spread the batter which will be a bit on the thick and dry side evenly into the pan.
Bake for 35 minutes, until lightly golden and set.
For a cake like consistency instead of bars, Bake in a well greased 8x8 ceramic or glass pan at 350 for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake another 10-15 until the sides begin to turn dark but the middle is still quivery. Reduce heat to 300 and bake another 15 or until middle is set, entire 'cake' has risen and a cake tester comes out clean.