Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Pumpkin Oatmeal Choc Chip Bars

I know what you’re thinking.  It’s March, not October.  What’s with the pumpkin?

Well, I’d use Florida’s finnicky “cold” weather as an excuse, but I don’t think you northerners would appreciate that. 😉  The truth is I don’t really have a good answer for you, other than the fact that after a good month or two break from pumpkin, I’m usually ready for some more.  I’m sure all you pumpkin lovers can relate. 😉

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars LBBakes

So, these bars.  I started with a simple Betty Crocker cookie mix because, well, I had a cookie mix and sometimes the craziness of life demands a shortcut.  You know what I mean?

Anyhow, the instructions for the cookie mix call for butter, but I was feeling like keeping the bars fairly healthy.  Enter: canned pumpkin and unsweetened applesauce.  If you’re trying to lighten up a baked good, both pumpkin and applesauce are great standbys.  I actually have an awesome brownie recipe that uses both.  I should share that soon!  Anyway…

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Since I was already embracing fall flavors of pumpkin and applesauce with these, I tossed in some cinnamon and nutmeg to amp up those warm and cozy flavors.  I swear, anything involving nutmeg is instantly comforting.  These bars are no exception.

And then I added chocolate chips.  Dark chocolate chips, to be specific.  The most delicious chips in all the land, in my opinion. 😉  But use what you have!  And if you want, go ahead and add a big handful of walnuts too.  Oh man, now I wish I had done that.

Enjoy!

[print_this]Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Soft baked pumpkin oatmeal bars with warm spices and dark chocolate chips.  A cookie mix makes for a simple preparation, while canned pumpkin and unsweetened applesauce make these a low fat alternative to traditional cookie bars. 

Makes about 16 bars

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (or line with parchment paper).

In a lare mixing bowl, stir all the ingredients until combined.  Spread into the prepared pan.  Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean (treat them like brownies — a little ‘gooeyness’ is a good thing!).  Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting.[/print_this]

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10 thoughts on “Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars”

  1. You don’t have to twist my arm to have me eat pumpkin in March Liz. In fact, I had some just yesterday. I am a pure pumpkin LOVER and will welcome new recipes with open arms any day of the year! PS: pumpkin and chocolate is right up there with peanut butter and chocolate in my mind 😉

    1. I had a feeling I could count on you to embrace the pumpkin year-round. I’m actually really looking forward to blueberry season so I can make pumpkin muffins with fresh blueberries!

    1. Peanut butter is definitely another food I can never get enough of. Really though, with pumpkin, I just need a good solid month or so break after the holidays, then I’m good to go. It’s too good to leave alone!

    1. Last week was brutal – temps below freezing in the mornings! Luckily we’ve rebounded quickly, it’s perfect now. Not looking forward to the (HOT) months ahead!

  2. dark chocolate chips are an excellent choice! or maybe even butterscotch?

    p.s.
    What plug in do you use for this recipe? my old one just got deleted. so weird!

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