There’s no denying that pumpkin season is in full swing. At the risk of sounding bossy, I insist you drop everything and bake a batch of these dangerously delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookie bars. They’re rich and chewy with cozy pumpkin spice flavor and heaps of gooey melted chocolate. Need I say more??
Why are these pumpkin bars so good?
Aside from how ridiculously delicious they are, I love that these pumpkin chocolate chip bars can be made in one bowl (and one pan!) in about 30 minutes. I know, I know. It sounds too good to be true but I promise you’re going to fall fast in love with this perfectly pumpkin-y fall treat! Here’s why you’ll love this recipe…
- Pumpkin and chocolate are a match made in heaven. This is what fall is all about!
- Easy, no chill recipe made with simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
- The perfect blend of pumpkin, chocolate and cozy fall spices. They’re irresistible!
- Perfect for feeding a crowd. Make these easy make-ahead bars for Halloween, Thanksgiving or just because it’s Tuesday!
If ever there was a reason to stock up on canned pumpkin, this is iiittttttt! Trust me, you’ll be making these pumpkin chocolate chip bars all autumn long. Here’s your shopping list:
- Flour – I highly recommend measuring the flour with a digital kitchen scale. Too much added flour will alter the texture of the bars and make them more cake-like.
- Butter – make sure your butter is softened to room temperature before mixing the dough.
- Sugar – granulated and dark brown sugar give these bars sweetness and texture.
- Egg – since pumpkin acts much like an egg in baked goods, we’re using just one egg in the recipe.
- Pumpkin – be sure to reach for “pure pumpkin” in a can, not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has a bunch of extra ingredients and is not interchangeable with pure pumpkin puree. For best results, blot the pumpkin with a paper towel to help remove some of the excess moisture.
- Baking Soda – a little leavening makes these bars soft and fluffy, without making them too cakey.
- Spices – cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves make these pumpkin bars extra cozy and delicious!
- Salt – just a pinch to balance the sweetness from the sugar and chocolate. Feel free to sprinkle the tops with flakey sea salt for added flavor.
- Vanilla – use the highest quality vanilla you can find for the very best flavor.
- Chocolate Chips – I like to use a mix of semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate chips but you can use any chocolate you like. Milk chocolate will make for a sweeter bar and white chocolate is positively delicious paired with pumpkin!
How to make pumpkin chocolate chip squares
This recipe is so simple and so easy. One bowl, one pan, a half hour in the oven and tah-dah!!! Warm, chocolatey pumpkin choco chip cookie bars await. Follow the step-by-step guide below and check out the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and instructions.
- Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Allow the parchment to hang 2 inches over the side of the pan for easy removal of the bars once baked. Set aside.
- Step 2: Spread the pumpkin puree on a large plate and lay a paper towel across the top to soak up excess moisture. Blot the pumpkin with a second paper towel if needed. Set aside.
- Step 3: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a handheld mixer), cream together the butter and sugars for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Step 4: Add the egg, pumpkin puree and vanilla. Mix to combine well.
- Step 5: Whisk the flour, baking soda, spices and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not over mix.
- Step 6: Use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir in the chocolate chips, reserving about 1/2 cup for the top of the bars.
- Step 7: Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly across the pan, leveling the top. Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate chips.
- Step 8: Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the edges are set and the top is golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the center of the pan should come out almost clean or with a few crumbs remaining.
- Step 9: Remove the pan from the oven and cool before slicing into squares.
Tips for the best pumpkin bars
- Blot the pumpkin dry. Too much moisture in the dough will make the bars more cakey. For a slightly denser, chewy texture, use a paper towel to blot the pumpkin puree before adding it to the dough. This extra step takes just 30 seconds and makes all the difference!
- Don’t skimp on the chocolate chips. More is more when it comes to chocolate. Measure those chips with your heart my friends!
- Keep an eye on your oven. Not only do you not want to overbake these bars, but you also don’t want to underbake them. Because the bars contain a fair amount of pumpkin, they will not continue baking in the pan once removed from the oven like traditional cookie bars do. But leave them in the oven too long and they will turn out dry. Keep a toothpick handy – the bars are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist (not wet) crumbs remaining.
I love one pan cookie bar recipes because they are so versatile. Follow your sweet tooth and give one of these variations a try:
- Mini chocolate chips – skip the regular chocolate chips and stir in 2 cups of mini chips.
- White chocolate chips – white chocolate and pumpkin are a decadent combo!
- Oats – for a healthy mix-in, sprinkle 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats into the dough.
- Cream cheese frosting – skip the chocolate chips and add a layer of cream cheese frosting to the bars once completely cool.
- Browned butter – to level up these bars to ohh-mmm-geee status, try browning the butter first. Once the butter is browned, chill it in the refrigerator until firm. Then let it rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes before mixing with the sugars as the recipe directs.
How to store cookie bars
These pumpkin bars are as good as they look! It’s nearly impossible to eat just one. But, try to resist eating them all on the day they are made because they get even better as they rest overnight. Plus they’ll stay soft and moist for days. Store them tightly covered at room temperature and enjoy them for breakfast or dessert.
To freeze the bars, allow them to cool completely before wrapping in two layers of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze flat for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature or do as I do and eat them straight from the freezer. SO GOOD!!
Happy baking pumpkin lovers!
Looking for more easy and delicious pumpkin recipes? Check out these fall favorites:
- Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
- Chocolate Dipped Brown Butter Pumpkin Madeleines
- Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars
- Ten Easy and Delicious Make Ahead Thanksgiving Desserts
Drop everything and bake a batch of these dangerously delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookie bars. They’re rich and chewy with cozy pumpkin spice flavor and heaps of gooey melted chocolate. Need I say more??
10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree (do not use pumpkin pie filling)
1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch of nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Allow the parchment to extend 2 inches over the sides of the pan for easy removal of the bars once baked. Set aside.
Spread the pumpkin puree on a large plate and lay a paper towel over the top of it to remove the moisture. Use a second paper towel to blot the pumpkin once more if needed. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a handheld mixer), cream together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Scraped down the sides of the bowl.
Add the egg yolk, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix to combine well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg.
Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin and butter mixture, mixing on low speed just until combined. Do not overmix.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and use a large spatula or wooden spoon to stir in 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips, again being careful not to overmix.
Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to press the dough evenly across the pan, leveling the top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips across the top. Add more if desired.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the edges are set, the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out mostly clean or with a few moist crumbs remaining.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool the bars on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
Store tightly covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.
May be frozen.
Keywords: pumpkin chocolate chip bars, pumpkin chocolate chip cookie bars