Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

The joy of fall baking continues!!

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My affinity toward chocolate chip bars began in middle school. My mom always made these chocolate chip brownie bars, basically chocolate chip cookies in bar form. All of my friends loved them, and so on certain Fridays when I was willing to wake up at 5:30, I would make some myself and bring them to school. Yes, I think I bought my friends using baked goods… This also began my unconscious decision to serve my creations within hours of baking, wherever possible.

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I made these pumpkin bars last year, and I don’t think anyone else even got to taste them. Within a few days, Dan and I had demolished them. This time, they are definitely to share! This version is courtesy of Martha Stewart via Two Peas and Their Pod. I couldn’t wait until they were completely cooled, so the cut was messy but oh so worth it… The pumpkin adds some kind of fall goodness to an already awesome recipe. You gotta taste it to believe it.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
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

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Cool bars completely in pan. Cut into squares and serve.

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