Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

I have a confession to make. I got way too excited about pumpkin in the fall. Seriously. You may remember this post, where I raved about the tasty pumpkin-flavored things I was going to make. Well, most of them didn't happen. Oh, I made a loaf of pumpkin bread or two, and a pie for Thanksgiving, but the crazy pumpkin supply I accumulated is still mostly here. And since many of my recipes don't even use a whole can, it becomes difficult to use up.

This is why I decided that late February would be the perfect time for a pumpkin recipe. Those cans were staring me down from the back of my pantry, so I figured I'd put a dent in the supply, at least. And that is how I came to use a whole 15 oz can of pumpkin for a recipe that called for a cup. I was in using-up mode - I didn't even notice until I was copying down the recipe later. But there are certain advantages to this.

These pumpkin squares positively explode with pumpkiny flavor. What may have been a subtle note and texture in the original product has expanded into an Alleluia chorus. The large amount of pumpkin makes them incredibly moist - in fact, I think I ought to have baked them a bit longer to reduce the moisture. The amount of chocolate is what really puts them over the top, though. This recipe is very generous with the chocolate chips, and the dark, bittersweet notes really play off the pumpkin nicely. These make a really nice snack, fall or not.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares
Adapted from Slow Like Honey.

2 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 c butter, softened
1 1/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
15 oz can pumpkin puree
12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli 60% cacao)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on each side (this will help you lift them out neatly later). In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Then beat in the pumpkin puree (the batter may appear curdled - don't be alarmed). Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the pan and even out with a spatula (try to pour it fairly evenly - it is quite thick and won't spread nicely on its own). Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the pan and the center is set, about 35 minutes (it might even need 40, but definitely keep an eye on it for the last five). Cool completely in the pan. Then, using the parchment overhang, lift the squares from the pan, cut into squares, and enjoy!


  1. this might be the first thing i ask steve to make once we move into our house that is big enough to accommodate a stand mixer without having to rearrange furniture. yum!

  2. Do it now! You don't need the stand mixer. A hand mixer would work just as well. And I feel for you about the rearranging. My kitchen isn't exactly small, but the counter space is pretty pathetic. Note that my mixer needs to be practically on the edge of the counter - it's too tall to fit any further back!