A lot of holidays are prime time for familial drama. It’s the most wonderful time of year, but also for many, the most stressful. Yet, if you ask most people what their favorite holiday is, the majority will choose Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah.
While I’m hardly a scrooge, I think that Christmas is anti-climatic. There’s an entire season, one that grows longer every year, devoted to the winter holidays. There’s caroling, cookies and presents. We have company office parties where someone inevitably has one too many gin and tonics and needs to take a cab home. Yet, December 25 hits and in some families, presents are flung open, gingerbread houses constructed and as soon as it began it’s over with only three dreary months of winter to look forward to.
That’s why if you ask me what my favorite holiday is, I probably won’t say Christmas or Hanukkah, but rather Halloween or Thanksgiving. My favorite months of the year are October and November when the leaves change colors on trees and pumpkin decorating is encouraged, if not mandatory. It’s also the month most appropriate for baking pumpkin chocolate chip squares.
You can do all kinds of delicious things with pumpkin but today we’re talking about dessert. Pumpkin is famous for it’s starring role in pie, but it also adds moisture and a fabulously chewy texture to baked goods.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
- Lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). Peel off foil, and use a serrated knife to cut. These will be thick and gooey, so let cool before cutting.