I’m not sure if I’m an emotional-stress eater or not, but I’m definitely an emotional-stress baker and cooker. I always crave the opportunity to get into the kitchen and cook something or bake something (or in a perfect world, both) to relax after a tough day, week or lately, a tough month. I like cooking and baking for others and trying out new things to get myself to chill out and relax. Oftentimes after my initial piece of whatever I’ve baked, I’m pretty happy and relaxed til the next time. I don’t need to eat the entire thing, just a taste.
Last weekend, after two particularly tough weeks scattered with illness, elementary school death threats, jury duty for my husband and all the usual daily work and school stress, I was in quite a mood, looking to bake SOMETHING good for the family to take the edge off. I went onto Pinterest, a place I hadn’t visited in a while, found their search bar (which seemed slightly different than the last time I’d been on) and I typed in all the things I was currently craving: pumpkin, Nutella, chocolate chips.
All those things had to go together in something, I was sure of it.
I was in luck! Sure enough, Parsley, Sage & Sweet had a recipe for me! I knew someone would. It’d be hot and out of the oven in just an hour or so.
Pumpkin Pie Nutella Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Bars.
I got to work, feeling better and better by the minute.
I won’t lie, the recipe has some steps to it, but believe me, it was worth it in the end!
Through this baking experience, I also learned a valuable lesson that I’ll pass on to you, just as I shared it on Facebook that same evening:
“If you try to put the plastic jar of Nutella into the microwave to soften it up for baking, all the while thinking just how smart you are thinking of this little shortcut, you must remember that the wrapper over the top was originally metal and that there might be some left on there which will potentially catch fire and giant, bright blue sparks will fly inside the microwave, scaring you and your children half to death while making your husband jump higher and run faster than you’ve seen in a long time when you gasp out loud in the kitchen. You’re welcome.”
That said, this was a delicious treat! Everyone was anxious to try it out so I served it warm, waiting just ten minutes to cut into it, rather than the suggested hour cooling time, and it was a hit. However, I had one more piece a day or so later, after the whole thing had been refrigerated, and YUM!! Even better cold, in my opinion, just like pumpkin pie.
I plan to make them again this weekend for a get together I’ll be attending on Saturday.
Here’s the recipe as it’s seen on the Parsley, Sage and Sweet blog. The only thing I did differently was to use regular sized chips instead of mini. I really don’t “do” mini chocolate chips.
Pumpkin Pie Nutella Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Bars
Adapted from Megan’s Cooking via Julia, author Of Dozen Flours- with my revisions
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup mini-chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.
Pumpkin Pie – Nutella Layer
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups fresh roasted or canned pumpkin puree
1/2 to 3/4 cup Nutella
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1. Lightly butter or oil spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan or dish. If desired, line with parchment paper, two edges hanging over, so you can lift the whole uncut bar out of the pan for easier cutting.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and set aside. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture into the egg mixture until uniform. Stir in the mini-chocolate chips. Spread the dough as evenly as you can on the bottom of the pan.
3. In a mixer bowl (you can use the same one you used to make the snickerdoodle dough) with a paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar (You can also use a hand mixer, or a just a spoon) Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined. This mixture is looser, so pour/scrape over the snickerdoodle layer, smoothing out the top. Preheat oven to 350F.
4. Drop tablespoons of Nutella over the top of the pumpkin pie mixture. About 4 rows of three dollops. Marble gently with a knife or spoon.
5. Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.
6. Bake at 350F for about 35-45 minutes, (depending on your oven..for some, it has taken longer) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bars cool completely (about an hour).
7. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Place on a cutting board and cut into bars. Drizzle cut bars with melted chocolate (better to drizzle them when cut so some chocolate drips down every side).
8. Let chocolate set or eat them before the chocolate sets (which we did). Store any remaining bars in a covered container, preferably in the fridge so they last longer.