It seems like just yesterday I was writing that it was August 1st, and posting about my beautiful sister's birthday. A cup of mascarpone was beginning its third week in this new delightful blogging world. Now October 1st, two months later, and I'm absolutely overwhelmed and humbled with what has happened in two and a half short months. The most wonderful thing is the beautiful friends I have met all over the world, and the friendships that have begun! How amazing it is to share in a common love! My desire to share with others an extension of my love in the kitchen has grown from 1,759 visitors to "a cup of mascarpone" in August to an amazing 11,926 in September! Thank you, thank you to everyone! I still have so much to learn - I'm truly only in the infancy blogging stage. I continue to work on improving my photos and food styling and overall blogging skills. I'm trying to understand HTML language and how to continue adding gadgets to improve the appearance. If I continue trying to build it better, I'm hoping you will continue coming back! :)
Thank you to all those who are "followers" (the beautiful little thumbnail photos on the upper right side column), reader feed subscribers, and email subscribers. I heart you all!!! One word to email subscribers - once you sign up with your email, you will be sent a return email to confirm your subscription. Just hit the confirmation link in the return email and you are done. This is just to confirm that you are the person who subscribed. Just in case you aren't receiving emails from "a cup of mascarpone", the confirmation link wasn't completed. In that case, just sign up again with your email, and complete the second step. I don't want you to miss out on a single recipe!
If you aren't already a follower or subscriber, I would love you to become one! :) I'm in the planning stages of a give-away to thank all of you, so stay tuned!
Now on to my pumpkin pie with decadent chocolate crust bars! I recently became involved with a wonderful group of bloggers in a Chocolate Party, hosted by Roxana, of Roxana's Home Baking. Each month we'll be creating a recipe using chocolate and a lovely, seasonal ingredient. What else but pumpkin for October?! I was thrilled when pumpkin was chosen, since I adore it for both sweet and savory recipes. Two years ago during the pumpkin shortage, I was devastated. You couldn't find canned pumpkin puree anywhere. When stores started stocking shelves with pumpkin again last year, I bought an entire case to be sure I didn't run out! For our Chocolate Party, I also created pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and couldn't decide which to post first. The pumpkin pie chocolate bars won out, so I'll feature the cookies soon.
All chocolate club friend's will be represented at the bottom of my post, all sharing their October Chocolate Party creations. All recipes are linked right back to the writer's blogs! Recipes containing pumpkin will continually be added throughout the month, and then a new ingredient with chocolate will be featured for November!
The pumpkin pie chocolate bars were inspired from a recipe I saw using a yellow cake mix for the crust from Jamie Cooks It Up. I thought it was so unique that I decided to try it out with a dark chocolate cake mix - yes, a box cake mix, how easy is that! The mix isn't created the same way you would make a cake, so it becomes more dense and brownie like, as you can see from the photos. …and no messing around with pie crust and a rolling pin, just press the chocolate, brownie like mixture into your pan.
The pumpkin filling is creamy and delicious, and includes all the warm spices that impart the season - one of the best I've ever tasted. In fact, for Thanksgiving I'm already planning on creating a pumpkin pie for my family using this exact pumpkin recipe, with a regular pie crust in the same sheet pan. I've named it pumpkin slab pie, and my two grown children, pumpkin pie lovers, are already looking forward to it! I love the way you cut it in to bars - and how much further it goes with a crowd than a regular pie, in less time!
I'm sure you are going to enjoy this scrumptious combination of flavors, and whatever you do, don't wait until Thanksgiving to try it! Pumpkin should be enjoyed all year round, but especially once this beautiful season of fall is here. Once Starbucks brings back pumpkin spice lattes each September - that's my signal to begin pumpkin creations! :)
Until next time…mangia! xox
Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Bars
16 - 20 servings
Jelly Roll Pan 16-1/2 x 11-1/2 x 1 or 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 1 (see my note below)
1 chocolate or dark chocolate cake mix (I like Duncan Hines)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
for pumpkin filling:
1 29 ounce can 100% pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1-1/2 cups cugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
4 large eggs
2 12 ounce cans evaporated milk
garnish (optional, but I highly recommend):
whipped cream (canned or whip your own)
mini chocolate chips
Create the Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Bars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
make the crust:
- Pour the cake mix into medium size bowl.
- Pour the melted butter over the cake mix and stir it in for about 30 seconds.
- Add the egg and mix until all ingredients are well combined and come together in a large clump.
- Spray your jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
- Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
make the pumpkin filling:
- Into a small mixing bowl combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Whisk together.
- Crack the eggs into your stand mixer and beat them for about 1 minute, or until frothy.
- Add the sugar mixure and the canned pumpkin to the frothy eggs, and mix until combined.
- Pour in the evaporated milk and mix until combined.
- Carefully!!! pour the filling over the crust. (see my note below)
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Cool completely, then cut into squares.
- Serve with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips, if desired.
I used the 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 1 jelly roll size pan. The mixture is about 1 cup too much for that size pan, so I took two oven proof custard cups, sprayed them with cooking spray and poured about 1/2 cup in each custard cup. I cooked them right along with the large pan, for 45 minutes until a knife inserted in center came out clean, about 15 minutes less than the bar pan. That gave me two little crustless pumpkin pies! By the way, use this tip anytime for a lower calorie, crustless pumpkin pie. You can also use low-fat evaporated milk.
When pouring the filling into the pan, be very careful, since you fill it to the tippy top. Here's what I did: I set my pan on the center rack of the oven, pulled the rack out just far enough that I could then pour the mixture in, and then very, very carefully pushed the rack with the filled pan on it back in to the oven. If you try to carry the filled pan over to the oven, you are inevitably going to spill it. :(