Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Bars

While Halloween may not be my favorite holiday, I do enjoy an excuse to cook with pumpkin. This time last year, we made Roasted Pumpkin and Bourbon Ice Cream.  My husband always craves ice cream when it gets cold out. But I prefer something warm, so this year I made pumpkin bars!  Based on a cookie recipe from Joy the Baker, these are delicious! If pumpkin bread was turned into a cake and had white chocolate chips stirred in, this is what it would taste like. Enjoy, and happy Halloween!
(P.S. How pretty is this towel?? I snagged at an antique market in France!)

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup fresh pumpkin puree* (canned would probably work too)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 F, and position a rack in the center of the oven.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a mixing bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer (I think a hand mixer should work too), add the eggs and sugar and beat for about 1 minute. The mixture should be smooth and light in color.

Scrape the sides of the bowl, and then on a lower speed, mix in the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients and continue to mix until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. 

Add in the white chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into a greased 8"x8" baking dish, and bake for around 40 minutes, until the top has browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

*To get pumpkin puree: Using a sugar pumpkin, slice off the stem, and cut the pumpkin in half. Discard the seeds (or save them to roast!). Rub the skin with a little oil and place cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast at 350F for about 50 minutes, until a knife easily pierces the skin. The skin should be darkened some, and the flesh will be soft. Remove the pumpkin from the oven when done and let cool for a few minutes. Scoop the flesh out of the skin, using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Add the pumpkin and any juices that accumulated on the baking sheet into a food processor and puree until smooth.

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