Ironically, with all the pumpkin that abounds around Halloween and Thanksgiving, I never was the kind of person to crave squash-filled desserts. When served a sliver of Grandma's pumpkin pie (with the "just try it" look alongside), the crust disappeared way before the filling would, and the orange-tinted cookies and cupcakes on the bake sale table at school were simply ignored in favour of the chocolate Rice Krispie balls or Jell-O "Jiggler" shapes. As an adult, I've come to enjoy pumpkin's slightly sweet, rich flavour and texture in savoury dishes, and while I still don't like it's "pie" format I don't mind a stack of pancakes, the occasional muffin or nibbling a well spiced cookie laced with the vegetable.
So, given that the theme for the Creative Cookie Exchange this month is Halloween, and when I think of Hallowe'en the first things I recall are pumpkin picking (and carving) and the candy haul, what better treat to share than a candy-laced pumpkin bar? It's the perfect home for any end bits of chocolate and toffee left after the trick-or-treaters sate themselves, and with tofu, applesauce, wheat bran and wheat germ mixed into the batter, it's even slightly healthy too! Luckily, the recipe makes a nice big batch, because you'll want to freeze a bunch for lunches and snacks down the road. While I haven't done it myself, I hear tell that semi-frozen bars make delicious ice-cream-sandwich "bread" too!
If you are a blogger and want to join in the #creativecookieexchange fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.
You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:
- Spider Infested Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Spiced Life
- Pumpkin Chip Bars from What Smells So Good?
- Headless Gingerbread Men from Noshing with the Nolands
- Swirly Halloween Cookies from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Enchanted Pumpkin Cookies from NinjaBaking
- The Witch’s Cauldron Cookies from Cookie Dough & Oven Mitt
- Spider Peanut Butter Cookies from Sweet Cinnamon & Honey
- Witch Finger Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Pumpkin Macarons from A Baker’s House
- French Butter Cookie (Bones) from Made with Love
- Pumpkin Cookie Bars from Food Lust People Love
- Spooky Almond Cookies from Basic N Delicious
Pumpkin Chip Bars
Makes one 15x10x1 pan, 30 squares
10 oz silken tofu, or 4 eggs
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ cup canola oil
½ cup applesauce
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup wheat bran
¼ cup wheat germ
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¼ cup chocolate chips or candy coated chocolate
1 (1.5 oz) bar chocolate-covered toffee (i.e. Skor), chopped
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 15x10x1 pan.
- In a food processor, puree the tofu, sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla and pumpkin.
- Pulse in the flour, bran, germ, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt to form a thick batter.
- Pulse in the chocolate chips, toffee and pumpkin seeds.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool in the pan before slicing.
Total Fat: 5.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.7 mg
Sodium: 87.1 mg
Total Carbs: 18.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g
Protein: 2.2 g