So, yesterday I spent too much time reading news and scanning the Twitter feed re: the current state of affairs in Washington D.C. I’m a fiscal conservative. Borrowing money to pay your bills is ludicrous. You wouldn’t run your household budget that way, so why is it ok for the government to spend like a passel of reckless teenagers with a stolen ATM card?? (I’d refer you to the recent glitch in the welfare EBT system in which recipients of government-funded, i.e., my tax dollars, debit cards went on a spending spree…knowing full well their cards did NOT have balances to support their spending). Get it?
Well, enough of that. After an overload of (more) bad news out of our nation’s capital, I shut down (ha ha…no pun intended) the internet and headed to the kitchen to bake. With ingredients I bought with hard-earned money contained within our monthly household budget. Get it?
Oh, never mind. Just bake these. They’re yummy and perfect for fall – pumpkin, pumpkin spice, vanilla, and chocolate. Good stuff. Good stuff.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares (adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/2 Tbsp pumpkin-pie spice*
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- dash salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 5/8 cup sugar (weighed on a kitchen scale = .625 ounces)
- 1/2 large egg (approx 1 Tbsp and 1 1/2 tsp)**
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 6 ounces chocolate chips (I used a combination of white and semi-sweet)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray bottom of 8 x 8 baking pan with Pam Non-Stick Baking Spray
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Approximately 30 – 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
*Pumpkin Pie Spice is easy to make at home: Combine 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
**I halved this recipe which created the dilemma of halving an egg. A typical large egg contains about 2 Tbsp egg white and 1 Tbsp yolk. So, to half the egg, you’ll need 1 1/2 Tbsp of whipped egg (1 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp).
***Baker’s Notes: First, the original recipe called for chocolate chips. I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate, but I had a partial bag I wanted to use up, so I divided the 6 ounces into half white chocolate, half semi-sweet. The end result? Perfect way to eat white chocolate. You can’t even really taste the difference. Secondly, because I halved the recipe, I ended up baking in an 8 x 8 pan rather than the 9 x 13. Watch the baking time. I pulled them the first time at 30 minutes, but quickly reconsidered because they’re much thicker. Last, the one thing I might add to give this recipe a little more punch (not that they’re not delicious), is cayenne pepper. Heat and chocolate and pumpkin. Triple threat!!