This post brought to you by Libby’s. All opinions are 100% mine.
I know that for many people, pumpkin automatically makes them think of fall. Well, if you are only enjoying the deliciousness of pumpkin in the fall months, you are totally missing out! I really enjoy pumpkin, but oddly enough, I am not a fan of pumpkin pie at all. I detest it! I do, however, love to add a little Pumpkin Can in a variety of dishes year-round, like chili, mac and cheese and a ton of delicious baked goods, like the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookie Bars Recipe you’ll find later on in this post.
It will come as no surprise to you that I absolutely love to bake. As a baker (and I certainly don’t use that term in any professional sense, my baking feet are firmly planted on the ground), I often find myself rummaging through my kitchen for ingredients for recipes I am working on…and coming up empty handed. Through years of trial and error, I’ve found that Libby’s Pumpkin can serve as a substitute for baking staples like oil and eggs. After experimenting with substitutions, I’ve found that I really love the subtle taste of pumpkin in my everyday recipes, like cookies, brownies, blondies – even waffles and pancakes!
Pumpkin is such a versatile vegetable, and it can be used in a many different sweet and savory dishes – any time of year! And pumpkin SHOULD be a part of your diet throughout the year, because it’s a superfood!
Did you know that Libby’s Pumpkin is full of fiber and Vitamin A, and is packed with Beta Carotene? When I replace eggs and oil in recipes with pumpkin puree, I am not only reducing the fat content, but I am adding nutritional content to my dishes! You can also stir a little pumpkin puree into jarred or prepared sauces to help reduce the amount of sodium in each serving.
See, I told you that pumpkin is a super food!
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookie Bars Recipe
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 a mashed banana (or 1 egg)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup Libby’s canned pumpkin puree
1 12 ounce bag of milk chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Beat together cream banana, butter and sugar until it reaches a creamy consistency. Then beat in the vanilla, baking soda and salt. Beat in pumpkin puree until you have a light and fluffy dough. It will resemble a mousse and don’t be afraid to taste it; there’s no raw eggs, so it is safe to eat!
Add in flour and beat at low speed until you have a soft, smooth dough. Stir in chocolate chips.
Your batter will be too thick to pour into your greased baking dish, so you will have to spread it until it’s even. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. I stopped mine at 35 minutes and used a toothpick (insert it in the middle) to check done-ness. Your toothpick should come out clean with maybe a crumb or two.
You can either set the baking dish on a wire rack to cool or move to the refrigerator to set quickly.
Tip: I always refrigerate brownies, bars and breads before cutting and serving so that they are easier to cut and hold their shape for presentation. I also used a CutCo paring knife to cut them into bars – that’s how I got that super sharp edge!
These Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookie Bars are full of good stuff: pumpkin, banana, dark chocolate – you’re getting a nice dose of antioxidants from the dark chocolate, potassium from the bananas and Beta Carotene, Vitamin A and fiber from the pumpkin.
Healthy Tip: You can even substitute applesauce or coconut oil for the butter if you like, but it might change the consistency of the cookie bars, so I suggest halving this recipe if you are going to do so to see how they turn out.
Go check out the Pumpkin Can website where you can share your favorite #PumpkinCan fact via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for a chance to win weekly prizes!