Monday, October 01, 2012

pumpkin pie chocolate bars




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

Carol






Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Bars
16 - 20 servings

Tools Required:
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)

Ingredients:

for crust:
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 sugar
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:
  1. Pour the cake mix into medium size bowl.
  2. Pour the melted butter over the cake mix and stir it in for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the egg and mix until all ingredients are well combined and come together in a large clump.
  4. Spray your jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
  5. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Set aside.

make the pumpkin filling:
  1. Into a small mixing bowl combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  Whisk together.
  2. Crack the eggs into your stand mixer and beat them for about 1 minute, or until frothy.
  3. Add the sugar mixure and the canned pumpkin to the frothy eggs, and mix until combined.
  4. Pour in the evaporated milk and mix until combined.
  5. Carefully!!! pour the filling over the crust.  (see my note below)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely, then cut into squares.
  8. Serve with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips, if desired.

Carol's notes:
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. :(


60 comments:

  1. Congratulations on all of your success! I'm a new blogger too, so to hear about your positive experience is very encouraging! Also, these pumpkin chocolate bars look delicious! They'll definitely be on my list to make this month :)

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    1. Kristen, thank you so much! With your gorgeous blog, you will have tons of success! I love it!!!

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    1. Thank you, Jessica! Have to admit, one of my favorite pumpkin recipes I've ever made! Of course, I love pumpkin!

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  3. So decadent Carol! It looks unbelievably moist and creamy. Wonderful addition to the party!

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    1. Thank you, Paula! I'm dying for your chocolate pumpkin pancakes!!!

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  4. Wow, these look fabulous I want to dive right in. Perfect to serve a crowd too, thanks for sharing the recipe.

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    1. Thanks so much, Suzanne! My feelings exactly, without any additional work!

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  5. Carol, these bars look wonderfully decadent! It's hard to believe you have only been doing this a little over two months! Your photos are lovely and I know I will always find something delicious here!

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    1. Meghan, thank you for such a kind comment! I so appreciate it!

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  6. Carol...these bars look absolutely scrumptious! LOVE the easy chocolate cake bottoms. Such a sweet and savory bite! Congrats on the growing success of your beautiful blog. Meeting so many wonderful like minded people has been the best part of blogging for me. And I'm glad to connect with so many people who are so enthusiastic about chocolate!!! You did a beautiful job with the ingredients and your photos are awesome! : )

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    1. Hi Anne! Thank you so much for coming by, and leaving this sweet comment! I absolutely loved your pumpkin ice box cake! It looks incredible!

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  7. What luscious bars, I would love one right now! :) Beautiful as always!

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  8. Welcome to the blogging world - congrats on your success!
    These bars look amazing. I love all the great pumpkin recipes today!

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    1. Hi Erin! Thank you so much!! I'm so happy to have met you through Roxana's groups!

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  9. Person of interestOctober 1, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    I don't have the size pan you recommend and I'd love to try them. Could another pan be used and make the rest in custard cups? I'm dying to try them. You're so clever with your ingredients and so talented as a photographer.

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    1. Hi! Yes, that would absolutely be fine! Just be sure to watch the pie depending on the size pan for when it's done {knife inserted in center comes out clean}. Enjoy the custard cups too! You won't even miss the crust!

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  10. Congratulations on your blog, very exciting to be off to such a great start!
    Your pumpkin pie chocolate bars are a delicious contribution to the chocolate party, love the photos;-)

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    1. Thank you, Patty! It really is exciting! I know my numbers are small to the majority of blogs, but huge to me! :) I had so much fun coming up with a chocolate/pumpkin combo! Can't wait to see what next months will be!

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  11. No one would ever know your blog was only months old from the look of it...my first months had dark photos taken with a flash :/ You go, girl! And these bars look amazing...excellent Chocolate Party post :)

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    1. Liz, you are so sweet! It's bloggers like you that I feel so lucky to have met! Thank you for the kind words!

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  12. Hi Carol! I didn't know that your blog was so young! Congratulations on the wonderful number of visitors - that's awesome for a new blog! I wish I had that many hits in my blog's infancy, LOL! But really, it;s your wonderfulky creative recipes and your beautiful personality that keep people coming back for more!

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    1. Good morning Jen, thank you for such a kind comment!!!

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  13. Hi Carol! So happy to have found your lovely blog through the Chocolate Party! Your bars look absolutely divine! Any chances you deliver? :) Have a fabulous day!

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    1. Hi Anna! Thank you! I'll deliver if you return the favor! :) You have a great day as well!!!

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  14. I only recently started blogging too (back in June). What really amazes me is how wonderfully warm and welcoming the food blogging community is, like our Chocolate Party group. I'm so glad to have found your blog - I love your writing and without question your photography is stunning. These bars look crazy delicious!

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    1. Nancy, thank you so much for such a sweet comment! I totally agree with the warm and welcoming community, it's so refreshing! Loved your pumpkin chocolate loaf in the chocolate party!

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  15. I can't believe your new to all of this, your photos are brilliant!

    These pumpkin chocolate bars look delicious, I love the orange and brown colour scheme!! Definitely puts me into a fall mood. :)

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    1. Hi Valerie! Thank you so much! Thank you also for noticing the color scheme - that is exactly what I was trying to do, kind of a black and white theme, with just the orange of the pumpkin adding color. You are very perceptive! :)

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  16. Congratulations on your blog achievements! It took me a year to get to those numbers :)) You're going an amazing job!
    These bar look sinfully! I'd love a couple right now!
    Thanks for joining our party!

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    1. Thanks so much, Roxana! You wouldn't think that pumpkin would be addictive, but add that chocolate crust, and that's what added the sinfulness! :)

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  17. OMyyygoodness,
    I cannot wait to make these little sinful gems! X

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    1. :) Thank you! You'll have to let me know how you like them!

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  18. You could have fooled me about your blog - thought you have been doing this forever! Nice job!! These bars are simply stunning. Anything with pumpkin is making me enjoy the season even more. Lovely photos!!!

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    1. Good Morning, Lisa! Thank you!!! Same with me, I adore pumpkin, and it's so good for you, too! :)

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  19. You're kidding, right?! It seems like you've been blogging for years! :) I've subscribed via my reader, find it the best way to play catch up with favorite blogs. These bars look amazing, Carol.

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    1. Thanks so much, Anuradha! You're so sweet! I can't wait to try that delicious pumpkin marble bundt cake on your blog, it looks spectacular!

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  20. Wow, I thought you had been blogging for far longer! Great job!

    These bars look wonderful--great way to put pumpkin and chocolate together. :)

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  21. This looked so good, I had to use it for my Recipe Wednesday. Of Course I sourced you: http://angel-of-berlin.blogspot.de/2012/10/recipe-wednesday-26.html

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  22. Amazing!!! I wish I had one right now with an afternoon cup of coffee. Yum!

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  23. Making these tonight for book club and I'm SO exited! Thanks a million for the recipe :) - Melissa @ Bless This Mess

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    1. Hi Melissa! So happy you are trying them! Thank you for letting me know. I'm sure your book club and you will love them! Please check back and let me know! Carol

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  24. So I found your blog the other day through Tastespotting and bookmarked this recipe. I made it tonight for a party tomorrow at work and it came out really lovely. My girlfriend and I sampled a small corner of the pan and it was really good. REALLY good. One odd thing happened though - the cake crust actually bubbled up throughout the pan so the cake layer and the pie layer actually are mixed together rather than it looking like a cookie bar or pie. No one will notice the difference but thought this was weird - did I go too crazy with the nonstick spray maybe?

    Oh and I used a 16"x12"x1" cookie pan I found at Wal-mart for $8 and it fit the recipe above *perfectly*. :)

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    1. Good morning! Thanks for coming by and letting me know how good the recipe was for you. I've made this a couple times and never had the cake rise into the pumpkin, so can't figure out what you may have done. I always use Duncan Hines cake mix, and make as in directions above. Could you have possibly made it like the box directions, rather than the directions above? In that case, it would have risen up like a cake. LOL on the nonstick spray! A light spray is sufficient. :) Either way, I'm so happy you liked it, and found a bargain on the pan too!

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    2. So just to follow up, I've decided to call what I made "Marbled pumpkin chocolate bars" for a little artistic flair. :) I did make them per your directions using Duncan Hines mix (Devil's Food was all I could source last night) - it wasn't that the cake "rose" as it normally would but that it actually floated up in the pumpkin batter, so in some spots the cake was encapsulated within the pumpkin pie mix and in others it was a traditional crust. You can see a picture if you head over to my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/phobos512). Texture and taste are just as I'd expect after cooling and refrigeration so not sure what caused the crust to float up in places but it did (and it happened during the oven time, as I checked on it I noticed the edges first started to "grow" through the pumpkin batter and then randomly throughout the pan). Anyway, it's all good, they're going to be a hit at lunch I think :)

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    3. Hi Matthew! Glad it all worked out for you, and you enjoyed it! Thanks again for your comments and stopping by!

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  25. Hi Carol! These look amazing and I want to give the recipe a whirl. If I'm making them the night before they will be served, should I refrigerate them? And at what temperature would you recommend serving them? Thanks!

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    1. Good morning, Rachel! So glad you're trying this, it's delicious! Just like regular pumpkin pies, it should be refrigerated when it's completely cooled, approximately 2-3 hours. It can be kept refrigerated for 2-3 days covered with plastic wrap. I served mine cold, which I think enhances the flavor! Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by! Carol

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  26. I made these for Thanksgiving and my family loved them! Even my mom enjoyed it for dessert and she normally doesn't like sweets. Thanks for providing such a wonderful recipe. :-)

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    1. Good morning, Anna! Thanks so much for stopping by to comment on the pumpkin pie bars! I'm so happy to hear how much your family enjoyed them! I really appreciate your feedback! Enjoy your weekend! Carol xox

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  27. I made these tonight...and like the lady above, my cake bubbled up through pumpkin. smells amazing and I'm sure it will taste great! thanks for sharing this recipe!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by to leave your thoughtful comment! So happy you've enjoyed the recipe! I've been told the bottom layer coming up through the pumpkin could possibly be too much baking spray or greasing of the pan. Just a thought for next time! :)

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  28. I am not sure how I found you, but I am very happy I did. I love pumpkin and chocolate. I want to try this. I hope you can follow me back at http://www.atmycounter.blogspot.com
    Thank you

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    1. I'm happy you found me too! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind comment!

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Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox

Carol