As soon as October begins, it’s always loaded with pumpkin recipes, including some savory dishes, but mostly sweet treats. I happen to be a pumpkin person, if there’s such a thing, and I can eat it roasted on a sheet pan or pureed with spices with a touch of maple syrup in a pie. Pumpkin lattes, hmm — not my thing, but I don’t discourage pumpkin in any form. These pumpkin nutella bars are a simple dessert made with just a tad of canned pumpkin and some warming spices that make both the base and the topping. The middle layer in these bars is filled with Nutella – hazelnut chocolate spread – that’s the perfect compliment to pumpkin and makes each bite rich with chocolaty goodness.
The dough is representative of a classic cookie recipe, buttery soft, and I folded the pumpkin puree in by hand at the end to prevent over mixing. Half the dough is pressed into the bottom of the pan, and then par-baked, while the other half of dough is dotted on top of the Nutella spread. The results are a soft and chewy cookie bar with both pumpkin and chocolate notes. A terrific treat for the upcoming months.
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or equal parts ginger, allspice and cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup Nutella
(Makes 16 Squares)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9×9 inch pan with parchment over hanging on two opposite sides. Spray or grease with oil.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, mix together sugars and butter for 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Add flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Mix on low just until crumbs begin to come together.
- Remove bowl and stir in pumpkin puree by hand. Add half of dough to prepared pan and press to form a flat base. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Microwave Nutella for 30 seconds, just to loosen. Pour over crust and spread evenly with a knife. Dot remaining dough over top and place back in oven to bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove and let cool to room temperature or chill in refrigerator before slicing. Enjoy!