Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

I fought the urge to make delicious fall treats as long as I could.

These came to mind and I couldn't resist. These are rich but so great for taking as dessert to an event. I intended to make them as "bars" but I now realize I made a fatal mistake! I used a 9 by 13 pan which made it into cake since it was so much thicker. So if you want cake use 9 by 13 if you want "bars" use a 15 by 10 pan aka a cookie sheet like this one.

These are rich. So you can't really eat more than 1 or  2 pieces in a sitting.

Begin by mixing your wet ingredients. Then add in your dry ingredients. Then add your chocolate chips to make this delectable. Or add in  raisins if you are feeling healthier, I definitely wasn't. Or neither and just have a pumpkin spice cake. 


Spread in a 9 by 13 greased pan and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Make your frosting while the cake bakes. 

I forgot to take step by step of the frosting but the key it to have your cream cheese and butter softened before you begin. 

Once your cake is finished, let it cool at least 1 hour or it will be so hot the cream cheese frosting will turn to mush. 

Next here are your options:
1. serve warm with cream cheese frosting-this makes the chocoalte chips all melty-my friends liked it this way
2. Let cool at least an additional hour or 2 until room temperature. Then frost. This is the way they are inteded ot be and my personal favorite. 
3. Serve cool. I refrigerated my leftovers and some people even liked this cold as more of a cold/carrot cake consistency.

The possibilities are endless. You can chop nuts for the top or not. Or grate chocolate on top too. 

If you make the cake version, you might have some extra frosting. If you make the "bars" then you will have the perfect amount!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
slightly adapted from Betty Crocker.com

Makes 49 "bars" or 21 pieces of cake

Bar Ingredients
 4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup applesauce [I used applesauce instead of oil to make it slightly healthier]
1 can [15 oz] pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

1 package cream cheese [8 ounces], softened
3 TBS butter or margarine, softened
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar [taste sweetness to decide]
1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional

Directions

Heat oven to 350. Spray 9 by 13 or 15 by 10 pan. Grease bottom of desired pan.

Beat eggs, sugar, applesauce or oil  and pumpkin with whisk until smooth. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Sir in chocoalte chips. Spread in greased pan.

For bars bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and bars spring back when touched lightly in center. For cake bake 40 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool at least 1 hour or to cool compeletely 2 horus.

For frosting: Beat together cream cheese, butter, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time on low until spreadable.

Frost bars and sprinkle with nuts or chocolate if desired.

Enjoy!

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