Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

If you have another job outside of blogging, do your coworkers know about your blog?  I often find that when I tell someone I have a food blog, an awkward silence follows.  Sometimes the person won’t even know what a blog is, much less a food blog.  I have a hard time explaining it, so more often than not, I avoid the topic.  In the course of returning to my position at the law firm recently, the blog came up though, so now a handful of my coworkers know about it.  I’m pretty sure they don’t read it, but they are aware of its existence and the fact that I bake quite a bit, so I started receiving questions about when I was going to bring in treats.  In an ideal world, I’d bake for them all the time (the more outlets for my baking, the better!), but I have a long commute and a lot of it involves public transportation, which means I’m sort of limited in what I can bring.  Fragile things are out of the question as are heavy or cumbersome things.  Cookies, brownies or bars/squares definitely fit the bill though.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip  Squares

You may have seen me post the above photo to Facebook a few days ago.  I snapped it quickly with my iPhone when I dropped these off in the kitchen at the office, and was completely embarrassed when one of the partners walked in and caught me in the act :)  I’d seen these pumpkin chocolate chip squares on several blogs this year, and always thought they looked and sounded delicious.  Pumpkin and chocolate are such a great flavor combo in my opinion!  The squares took very little time to throw together after work one night last, and helped me finish off the pumpkin puree from a can I’d opened earlier in the week.  They survived the trip into work without a problem, and were completely gone before noon so I think everyone liked them :)  Actually, I know they did since several people stopped by my office to say thanks.  The squares are very moist and rich, and though they look like blondies, their texture is more cake-like.  I used a combination of milk chocolate and bittersweet in my squares, but they’d be great with whatever kind of chocolate you like best. 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip  Squares

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares
from Martha Stewart

{Note: If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice you can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, and 1/2 teaspoon cloves.}

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
12 oz (about 2 cups) chocolate chips (I used a combo of milk chocolate and bittersweet)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 13×9 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on opposing sides so you can lift the bars out after they bake. Spray the aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined. Add the pumpkin puree and beat to combine (don’t be worried if the batter looks curdled, it’ll come together in the next step). With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two additions, beating just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the bars cool completely.

Use the aluminum foil to lift the bars out of the pan and cut them into squares.