Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

photo 4-23Happy third day of Fall! I totally planned on getting this post out on the first day of fall however, my last two weeks have been just slightly crazy with traveling and work, which has left me with little time to cook, eat or sleep for that matter!  I just returned from a week in New York City which was a blast and very busy! I got to see some friends and family between the work I was doing there. I also got to eat at some fun new restaurants! Two of my favorites were The Meatball Shop, where I stuffed my face with an espresso ice cream and chocolate chip cookie sandwich (drool) and Artichoke Basille’s with their classic artichoke pizza which was so rich and decedent I was only able to eat one piece (drool again)! If you’re in New York in the near future I highly recommend you check them out! Anyways, I got back to Utah and it was full on on FALL here.

Yellow and Orange leaves, a chill in the air and that overall feeling and smell of fall. It got me thinking I wanted some delicious pumpkin treats! I tweaked this recipe from another one I found by substituting coconut oil for butter, I was so pleased with the result! photo 5-15Rich and moist with just a hint of pumpkin and sweetness from the chocolate chips. The coconut oil gave it a wonderful texture and kept them from getting to dry! If you’d prefer to use butter you can easily substitute it back in, (if you must!) its a 1:1 ratio so you’ll use 1 cup of butter instead of oil. Coconut oil is a great vegan baking substitute and I love the flavor and texture it brings to my baked goods! Cheers to you, enjoy! photo-609

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars (click for printer friendly version)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted (put the coconut oil in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until it becomes liquid and easy to pour.
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. set aside.
  2. With a standing or hand mixer beat coconut oil and sugar on medium speed until fully incorporated. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add pumpkin puree and mix well. (if you are using butter don’t worry if the mixture looks a little curdled.)
  3. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.
  4. Spread batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake the bars for 35-40 minutes or until the top and edges are brown. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  5. This is the hardest part.. WAIT until the bars are almost fully cooled before cutting them. I obviously did not wait and they were very difficult to get out of the pan in once piece! Enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Key Lime Pie

photo 2-43Happy hump day y’all! You’ve made it through half the work week and lets be honest you deserve a treat for working so hard! There’s pretty much no better way to treat yourself or celebrate than with pie… and more specifically deliciously tart and perfect key lime pie! Last night I was celebrating because our coed rec league softball team went undefeated in our regular season (9-0!) So we are heading into the playoffs ranked #1! We played a double header under beautiful pink Park City skies! photo-604Doesn’t get much better than that! Oh wait it does… Key Lime Pie! This is my all time favorite go to recipe that was passed on to me by a friend. I have tired many variations of key lime pies and this one hands down always wins.

It is the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, it’s so satisfying and refreshing! I have also made it a few different ways, both as a pie and as individual mini tarts! The pie version is definitely less time consuming since you’re not packing the graham cracker crust into each little individual cupcake tin, however the result of the mini tarts is quite chic! Top these little babies off with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and booyah you’re the most popular person at the party!

Key Lime Pie (Serves 8)

Ingredients For the Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about one sleeve of graham crackers, finely crushed)
5-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Key Lime Filling
3 Large egg yolks
1 14oz can sweeten condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh squeezed key lime juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated key lime zest
For the Whipped Topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan or large cupcake pan (you may need to do a few batches with the cupcake pan if you only have one). Bake in oven for about 8-10 minutes, until golden brown (don’t allow it to get too brown).
  3. Meanwhile, In the bowl of your electric mixer (you can use a hand mixer or kitchen aide), with the whisk attachment beat the egg yolks until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Gradually add the sweeten condensed milk and beat until you have a light and fluffy mixture (4-5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the limejuice and zest.
  4. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the filling has set. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once it has completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until serving time. (Pie can be made at this point and stored in fridge over night).
  5. Just before serving, make the whipping cream. In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form, add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Place mounds of whipping cream on top of the pie filling.