It’s about that time of year when all I want to do is eat pumpkin. Pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin bread, pumpkin yogurt, pumpkin pancakes…you name it, it’s game. And after our visit to the pumpkin patch last week, my cravings have become even more intense.
This was Harper’s first trip to the pumpkin patch and boy did she have a blast! There was a tractor ride, a corn maze and of course, hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins.
Upon arrival we were even greeted by a beautiful rainbow. And something tells me my mom might have dialed it in from her leprechaun friends back on the Emerald Isle.
In order to celebrate the festivities that the autumn season brings, my mom and I decided to make a fresh batch of pumpkin bars. But these weren’t just going to be any pumpkin bars. These pumpkin bars were going to have a little bit of “pizazz” to them. Our secret ingredient? Homemade caramelized pecans.
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 puree
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup caramelized pecans, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 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 puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans.
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 16 bars.
Recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart
These bars are simply amazing. The base is soft and chewy and oh, so pumpkin-y. The chocolate chips bring a nice sweetness to the mix and the nuts do a great job of balancing the bars with some crunch and saltiness. This recipe is a great way to spread the love this holiday season. Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, pumpkin is a staple in my house. But don’t think for a second I won’t be making these all year long. They are just. that. good.