Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chocolate and pumpkin spice cookie butter bars

If you love pumpkin, then you will absolutely love these chocolate and pumpkin spice cookie butter bars. Pumpkin spice cookie butter and chocolate chips are sandwiched between two layers of soft and chewy pumpkin bars. It's a bar dessert that's perfect for fall!
Are you as crazy about pumpkin spice cookie butter as I am? After I tried my first jar, I went out and bought three more. Obsessed? Maybe. I could have easily eaten the contents of each jar with a spoon, but I wanted to bake something that featured the pumpkin spice cookie butter.

I was somewhat strapped for time when I decided that I wanted to make dessert. We were Facetiming with my parents and had only about 40 minutes until we had to attend a classmate's birthday party. Needless to say, I didn't have a lot of time to dilly dally around. Cookies sounded awesome but would require portioning out and multiple pans. Bread would be a good option but we already have a few loaves of another variety hanging around. Cheesecake bars were tempting but I didn't have time to make the multiple layers.
So what's a girl to do? I finally settled on making some pumpkin bars. I could mix everything in one bowl, and the filling didn't require any extra dishes or bowls to make. Call me sold.

I mixed the batter up very quickly and allowed half of it bake for 8 minutes while I washed my  measuring cups and spoons. Once that was done, I spread on the pumpkin spice cookie butter and sprinkled on some chocolate chips. Then I added the remaining batter on top and placed everything in the oven. I was able to bake these, talk to my parents, and take these out of the oven by the time we had to depart for the party.

My husband taste tested the bars while Addie and I were at the party. He said that they were really good, and this is coming from a guy who used to not like pumpkin. I tried one and agreed that the bars were pretty fantastic. The soft and chewy base and top were perfect, and the filling of chocolate and pumpkin spice cookie butter were warm and gooey.

If you don't have pumpkin spice cookie butter, you can simply substitute with Nutella or any other chocolate type of spread. You can omit the chocolate chips or add other flavored chips (white chocolate and cinnamon come to mind). The bars are flexible to suit your tastes and are a perfect way to celebrate the fall season.

Chocolate and pumpkin spice cookie butter bars
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • About 1/3 cup pumpkin spice cookie butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a standard 8"x8" square pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix together the melted butter, pumpkin and sugars on medium speed until well mixed. Add the egg yolk and mix until smooth.

Turn the mixer to low and add in the baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cinnamon and vanilla extract until everything is well incorporated. Slowly add in the flour and mix until everything just comes together.

Press about 1/2 of the batter onto the bottom of your prepared pan (I used my hands). The mixture will be a bit sticky. Bake for about 8 minutes in your preheated oven.

Remove the pan from the oven and spread a thin layer of pumpkin spice cookie butter on top. Then sprinkle with chocolate chips. Finally, dollop the remaining batter on top and gently press down and try to cover as much of the chocolate chips as you can. It's OK if some parts aren't covered.

Bake in your oven for another 17-20 minutes or until the top turns golden brown. Allow the bars to cool before slicing and serving.

Leftover bars should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will keep for at least a week.

Yield: One 8"x8" pan; about 16 bars

Source: Slightly adapted from Crazy for Crust



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