halloween cookie bar.

fall is upon us and with that in my mind comes desserts and cooking with pumpkin. now i can make a mean pumpkin pie {praised highly by shirley which made me feel like i had won a prestigious award thank you very much!} but i feel a bit sorry for the pie as it has been slightly cast aside. pumpkin pie. check. now what? i have been spreading my wings and actually have come to realize that the last pumpkin pie was made years ago and i believe it was the one shirley tried.

this year is no exception. with thanksgiving this weekend, pumpkin's everywhere and halloween on the horizon the scent of desserts are in the air. literally. i smell sweet desserts everywhere. or maybe i am thinking about them so much that i have convinced myself? well anyway, anyone close to me is benefiting as i am having this overwhelming urge to test, bake and savour.

with halloween looming {and me off the hook for thanksgiving} the kids and me pulled out our collection of martha's halloween magazines to make our list of crafts and sweet we are going to tackle. while flipping i came across a recipe i can't believe has ever escaped my gaze and that i have never made. well this couldn't go on any further. so...i made it and it was worth every bite!

of course with every recipe there is some tweaking and this was no exception. although i adore martha's recipes, this one i liked more for the concept and changed it to how i thought it was better suited. generally i tweak her recipe's as i find she doesn't like some things as sweet as i do or she uses ginger too much for my tastes. in this recipe i liked the richness that the pumpkin offered but changed around a few things and i think the results were top shelf.

i posted this picture on facebook of it right out of the oven, still in the pan and cooling and was flooded with requests for the recipe. so ladies...here you go!!

halloween {pumpkin chocolate chip} cookie bar.
adapted slightly from martha stewart.

these are so wonderful and casual i am snacking on one right now as i write this and you should go and make some now!! c'mon go and get ready!! i'll wait!

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
3/4 tsp of ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice {as close as possible}
1/8 tsp ground cloves {as close as possible}
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of salted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree {not pumpkin pie filling!}
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces m&m's because they are the best but you can use other coated chocolate candy if you want!

1) pre-heat your oven to 350. lightly butter & line the bottom and side of a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides.
2)whisk together flour, spice, baking soda and salt.
3) beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. beat in egg and vanilla, then the pumpkin puree {mix may appear curdled}. reduce speed to low and beat in flour mix until just combined. fold in chocolate chips.
4) spread batter in pan. sprinkle evenly with m&m's. bake, rotating pan halfway through, until the edges begin to pull away from the side of pan and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes. let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
5) using parchment overhang, lift cookie bar from pan. peel off parchment and use a serrated knife to cut into 24 squares.

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