Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

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I know I said that my favorite Halloween treats are pre-fab bits of artificial everything, but I have some favorite fall desserts that are more wholesome.  And since I've been sharing lots of savory meal ideas, I thought I'd mix it up and share with you a super-easy fall dessert - loved by kids and grownups alike. 

If you want to give this more nutritional value, you can substitute whole wheat pastry flour for all or half of the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe.  The WW pastry flour has a higher starch and lower gluten content than regular WW flour, so it offers less structure for your product, but will give you a more tender result.  Because it's pastry flour, it's finer and its somewhat nuttier taste is much less noticeable than regular whole wheat flour (read: less grit).  I have made these with all WW pastry flour, and people have raved about them . . . shhhhh, they didn't realize they were enjoying some added protein and fiber!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

2 c. All-purpose flour
1 T. plus 1 t. Pumpkin pie spice
1 t. Baking soda
3/4 t. Salt
1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 c. Sugar
1 Large egg
2 t. Vanilla
1 can Pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling - there should be no sugar added)
1 package (12 oz.) Semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt and set aside.  With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy; beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.  Beat in the pumpkin puree.  Reduce speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips. 

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.  Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 35-40 minutes.  Cool completely in the pan, cut into squares, and serve!

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine