Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Streusel Bars

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Streusel bars arose by twists and turns, as per usual. I had run across a recipe for Spicy Chocolate Pumpkin Bars in “The Golden Book of Chocolate,” from Barron’s Publishing, and, this being the time of year for all things pumpkin, I decided to try it. The bars were shown glistening with sparkling, crystalline sugar, and looked so tempting.

Problem: no store near me had any glistening, sparkling crystalline sugar. Time for Plan B! I decided to top the bars with a buttery streusel recipe found in an old Victoria magazine.

As it turns out, this is a marriage made in heaven: the moist pumpkin bars and the buttery, crunchy topping, along with the nubbins of chocolate, all in one bite, are so good. Actually, this combination falls into the “too good,” category! No need for any ice cream or whipped cream to serve along with–this bar can stand alone.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Streusel Bars

First, make the streusel, and set aside. Then make the bars.

streusel mixture

1-1/3 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Combine flour, sugars, salt and spices in a small bowl. Pour the melted butter over the flour mixture, and stir until well combined and crumbly.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 13 x9″ pan and line with parchment paper. Grease again. Mix the flour, salt, spices and baking soda in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg, and beat thoroughly. Beat in the pumpkin, followed by the flour mixture. Then stir in the chocolate chips. The batter will be fairly stiff.

Spread into the prepared pan, and top evenly with the streusel, breaking up any large lumps with your fingers. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Baking notes: I didn’t use all the spices they called for–the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg seemed like enough. There will be pumpkin puree left over, but you can go here to find things to do with small amounts of pumpkin.

A new use for this squash! Very handy.


In the Bird World

Lots going on in the bird world, as usual! This little downy woodpecker and the red-bellied woodpecker had designs on the same branch. Who knew it could be so tempting?


img_6811 img_6812

A nearby sparrow.


Some leaves caught in the Joe Pye weed.

img_6801 img_6802And, the last zinnia of summer. Peace to you. Fran



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