Pumpkin flavored treats are comfort food this time of year. The pumpkin chocolate chip cookie bars are easy to make and perfect for Halloween, or as a treat with your morning coffee. The key is not to overwork the dough as this can change the consistency of the cookie bar.
This recipe is courtesy of Jesse Szewczyk at The New York Times.
¾ cup/170 grams unsalted butter (1½ sticks)
Nonstick cooking spray or neutral oil
1¾ cups/385 grams packed light brown sugar
¾ cup/170 grams canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups/320 grams all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1½ cups/9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring continuously to prevent the milk solids from burning. Stir until the butter foams, darkens to a light amber color and becomes fragrant and nutty, approx. 3 to 4 minutes more (be careful that the butter doesn’t burn).
Pour the butter along with any of the browned milk solids into a large heatproof mixing bowl. Let cool for 20 minutes until warm, not hot.
Heat the oven to 325F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch metal or glass baking pan with cooking spray or oil. Line with a piece of parchment paper that hangs over the two long sides to create a kind of sling.
Add the brown sugar, pumpkin purée and vanilla extract to the cooled butter and whisk until smooth and glossy.
Add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cloves and nutmeg (you can substitute pumpkin spice if you don’t have cloves and nutmeg).
Stir with a spatula until a soft dough forms with no patches of unincorporated flour. (Be careful not to overmix).
Add 1 ¼ cups/216 grams of the chocolate chips and stir, taking care to evenly distribute throughout the dough.
Transfer the dough to the baking pan and press into an even layer using a spatula or clean hands coated with nonstick spray or oil. Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate chips – press them in so they stick.
Bake until the bars are puffed and the top is lightly browned. A skewer or a knife inserted into the center should come out clean with just a few crumbs attached. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
Let the bars cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. Using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the pan and cut into 24 squares.
You can keep the cookie bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
We hope you enjoyed making this Halloween-inspired treat!