First thing’s first: Ariel and I found out about Study Abroad for next semester! What? Yes! We’re leaving the lovely USofA to go immerse ourselves in other cultures through food, drink, and fun. Oh, and school I guess. So where will we be traveling? Ariel will be spending her spring in Tel Aviv in Israel and I will be spending mine in Florence! We are more than excited to travel around the world, we just wish that we could do it together. Though our distance and different locales will only provide more interesting things for us to share with you all here! Nosh & Tell will be up and chugging along as we travel through Europe and the Middle East respectively. Who knows how often we’ll get to blog, or what the heck we will blog about since we won’t have access to all of our lovely kitchenware that will be staying in NYC, but we will blog! And we will eat! Oh we will eat. Pasta. Wine. Yum. Anyway, that’s not happening till Spring, for now it’s Fall in NYC.
All of the sudden it got freezing cold here like two days ago–no fun. I think it might be time for me to put away my summer whites and get out my winter clothes. It also means it’s time for fall flavors! Pumpkin, cinnamon, apple, roasted veggies, Liz just suggested Marshmallow…erm…maybe. But definitely pumpkin! I looove seasonal things, the Holiday season happens to be my favorite time of year for food and life in general. My Holiday season starts with Halloween and ends with Easter–the peak time being the fall through the end of the year. I start listening to Christmas music on November 1st, the day after Halloween. Don’t judge me, I get in an extra month of Christmas music while all of y’all are waiting for the day after Thanksgiving. I just wrote like three more sentences about my obsession with Christmas but then decided that it could wait for another post. I’m getting teary eyed just thinking about the Lighting of the Tree. Now for seasonal foods, I’m actually not huge on seasonally flavored things. I used to have an aversion to Pumpkin and even though I don’t anymore I find myself always drawn to chocolate over a seasonally flavored dessert. However I decided to get in the spirit by making these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.
The bar recipe comes from good ole Martha and I made up the icing recipe on the fly though I am sure that there is a more consistent recipe written out there somewhere. I just kind of did mine to taste and it worked out well so feel free to use my sloppy recipe or find an exact one. These were delicious. They were just what I needed to help me get more into the Fall spirit. The slight undertones of cinnamon and pumpkin complement the chocolate in the bars while the texture of the chips helped to break up the cakey-ness of the bars. Slather on a layer of Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and this truly becomes a treat. I love cinnamon, it’s incredibly versatile and in this case it cut the sourness of the Cream Cheese and the sweetness of the powdered sugar wonderfully. The cinnamon also added cute little specks in the white frosting too! Taste testers and I agree, these are a must make for fall. These bars are easy enough to whip up in an instant and complex enough in flavor to please gourmands and gluttons alike. They’re sure to make any resentment for fall float away, along with your summer tan. Hehe.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
From Martha Stewart
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Healthy Swaps: you could swap out some of the butter for more pumpkin puree. Also by reducing the sugar you can bring out more of the natural sweetness in the Pumpkin and save some calories too.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Frost when cooled completely.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz bar of cream cheese*
1 stick of butter
3-5 cups of confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cinnamon (or just to taste)
*Healthy Swaps: use Neufchatel Cream Cheese (1/3 fat) or fat free.
Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add in vanilla and cinnamon, mix until combined. With a mixer on low speed add in confectioner’s sugar a cup at a time until desired consistency and taste is reached.
Bon Eating and Happy Fall!