Friday, September 24, 2010

Spiced "Pumpkin" Chocolate Chip Bars

This week I have been trying to use up my pantry stockpiles, garden, and Bountiful Basket produce. I have done fairly well. I did go to the store for milk, eggs (Winco had them on sale for $3.24 for 5 dozen medium eggs), butter( I had coupons so I got 5 boxes for $1.73 a box), dill, and garlic (to make dilly beans). We have been having above average temperatures for our area, and my garden has reacted accordingly. I have a bazillion tomatoes that decided to ripen (all at the same time), more green beans (hence the dilly beans), jalapeno and green peppers galore! Tomorrow I will be in the throws of salsa making!

I have still been sharing a weekly Bountiful Basket with my sweet friend. The last couple of weeks our basket has contained sweet potatoes and butternut squash. I personally, like to eat both vegetables all by themselves with butter and brown sugar. However, it is the general consensus of the rest of the troops, that this method of consuming squash and sweet potatoes is a crime against nature. I can usually get Dear Hubby to eat them this way (if only to set a good example), but the Jr. division will have none of it. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth when either item is placed before them. So, I have taken to disguising them in soups, casseroles, and baked goods. I found this recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip bars in the Taste Of Home Cookies cookbook.

I loved that it called for applesauce (an item I have massive amounts of in my storage room) instead of oil. The applesauce also makes them incredibly moist. It calls for 4 eggs, but you could substitute egg whites for part of the whole eggs. Splenda could be substituted for half of the sugar if you want to "healthify" it even more. The original recipe does not call for chocolate chips, but I added some in. Chocolate makes the world go round, after all.

Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

2 cups all purpose flour (of 1 cup all purpose flour and 3/4 cups whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
(or omit the above four spices and add 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice)
4 eggs
1 3/4 cups pumpkin (or squash) puree
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients, set aside. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, and applesauce; mix well. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread into a greased 15x10 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes.

I am loving the fact that I substituted pureed sweet potato and butternut squash for the pumpkin. Nobody is the wiser either. You can substitute cooked, pureed sweet potatoes or winter squash in any baked good calling for pumpkin, including pumpkin pie! I have been doing this little trick for years! The recipe was a hit! My family (and the kid's friends) have been devouring them. They have made a nice addition to packed lunches this week, too.


  1. I am so in the mood for something pumpkiny and fall-tasting and this looks perfect. I changed my mom's zucchini bread recipe to use applesauce instead of oil and it's a great substitution to cut down on calories. I like your addition of chocolate chips but I think I'll also try subbing cranberries, another one of my favorites with pumpkin. Yum! Thanks for the recipe!!!

  2. This recipe sounds amazing! I love pumpkin in the fall... although we too use sweet potato because my husband is allergic to pumpkin! Every "pumpkin" dish I make, I do so with sweet potatoes.

    Thanks for a delightful recipe.

  3. This looks and sounds delicious. I haven't started my pumpkin baking but I am almost ready.



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