Tag Archives: halloween

chocolate chip pumpkin bars

Happy Halloween! I hope you all are enjoying lots of pumpkin-anything today! I wasn’t expecting to be able to bake anything this week with  hurricane Sandy passing through here and the predicted power outages, but luckily it missed this area! We’ve surprisingly had just a bit of rain and barely any wind. After watching the coverage for the New York City area, we all feel lucky for that.

So to get back on track for baking festive things, I wanted to bake pumpkin bars from a recipe I came across a few days ago. It’s for chocolate chip pumpkin blondies, but I wanted to change it a bit by adding on a layer of chocolate ganache. I never thought I would enjoy the combination of pumpkin and chocolate (as I write this it just seems so silly now) until the other day when I put Nutella on a pumpkin english muffin. It was like, BAM. Why don’t I eat that combination more often? The mixture of the two in baked goods has somewhat of a complex flavor, because for me at least, I taste the chocolate first, and then the spices and the pumpkin linger afterwards. Pumpkin orange is also one of my favorite colors, so the combination of it with dark chocolate ganache just seems very Halloweeny to me.


  • 6 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin
  • 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Ganache recipe can be found here.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8×8 square dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar together. Stir in the egg, vanilla and pumpkin. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Pour those into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread dough evenly into prepared baking dish. Bake 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean after being inserted.  Remove from oven and let cool. If you want to stop here, you can just cut and serve them about 10 minutes or so after they come out of the oven while they are still warm. If you want to add the ganache, let the bars cool in the pan completely first. Make the ganache while you are waiting. Once the bars are cool, spread the ganache over the top. Store the bars, covered, in the fridge (so the chocolate doesn’t get too melty).


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pumpkin seeds

we carved pumpkins a few days ago and i kept a bunch of seeds to experiment with. i was looking at an article in the october issue of the food network magazine, and there was a feature about roasting pumpkin seeds. it’s probably something that a lot of people already know how to do, but i’ve never tried it before, and i don’t know why really because it’s super easy. basically all you do is dry the seeds (either by roasting in the oven first, or laying them out for awhile) and then coat them in some oil and whatever flavors you want, and then bake! the article that i read said to rinse the seeds and then place them on a baking sheet and bake at 300° F for 30 minutes to dry them out, then mix them with oil and spices, and then bake again for another 20 minutes or so. even though i read through the directions first, i stil forgot what i was doing and mixed the oil and spices with the seeds before drying them. i somehow always manage to skip some steps in recipes by accident. oh well. since the recipe said they should be in the oven for a total of 50 minutes, i just figured to bake them for that long anyways, which worked out just fine. since i had so many seeds i made two batches and tested the official recipe from the magazine on the second batch by drying them out first and then adding spices. this way also worked, so do whatever works for you. i made the first batch with olive oil, cinnamon, and sugar. these made the kitchen smell exactly like autumn in a jar if there was such a thing. they were also tasty. for the second batch, i used olive oil and some mrs. dash garlic and herb spices we had here in our kitchen. the kind i used had a mixture of spices like pepper, rosemary, basil, cayenne pepper and garlic of course, making them spicy, garlic-y, and addictive.

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