pumpkin-gingerbread-squares-67

My friend, Jen, had a “Welcome Fall” party the other week. I’m always thrilled by the opportunity to feed people, so I offered to bring something with me, perhaps a pumpkin treat? Jen laughed at this, because she had just been thinking about the same thing. Thus,  I was given the assignment of bringing a pumpkin dessert, of some variety, as an offering to the autumn party gods.

But what to make? I’ve tried several times to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies as good as the ones at Whole Foods, but haven’t quite nailed it yet, so gave it another shot. The cookies came out good, but not quite Whole Foods excellent, so I decided to overachieve and make a second dessert as well.

I settled on the idea of some kind of pumpkin bar, but didn’t want to go the pumpkin & cheesecake bar route. (I’m disproportionately picky about my cheesecake.) So I came upon the idea of mixing pumpkin with gingerbread, because, let’s face it, gingerbread is delicious. So I did a little online research and ended up adapting Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Brownie Swirl recipe to create my pumpkin gingerbread squares. I tried it first as a swirl, and feel free to go that route if you please, but the pumpkin batter ended up being much denser than the gingerbread batter and they separated into tasty, but slightly muddled layers. So I decided to go with the whole layers thing and forwent the swirl the second time around. This time, the squares turned out with beautiful, distinct zones of moist, cakey gingerbread and pumpkin.

So off I went to greet autumn in the time-honored tradition of beer, pumpkin and boardgames in a house that holds a suit of armor. Wait, what? A suit of armor? Yep. That’s just one of the things that makes Jen super cool. And while the pumpkin cookies were popular, the pumpkin gingerbread squares were the favorite.

Ingredients:

pumpkin-gingerbread-squares-3

Base:
2 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 3/4 C Sugar
4 Eggs, large
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, freshly grated

Pumpkin Layer:
1 1/4 C Pumpkin
1/4 C Olive Oil
1 tsp Cinnamon, ground

Gingerbread Layer:
2 Tbsp Flour
1/3 C Molasses
2 tsp Ginger, ground
1/8 tsp Allspice, ground
Pinch Cloves, ground
Pinch Black Pepper, ground

Instructions:

pumpkin-gingerbread-squares-7

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Butter a square baking dish and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy. (If using kitchenaid or other electric mixer, use the paddle attachment.)

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and baking powder and baking soda.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, along with the vanilla. Pour half the batter back into the second bowl.

pumpkin-gingerbread-squares-15

Whisk all the pumpkin layer ingredients into one bowl of batter.

pumpkin-gingerbread-squares-10

Stir all the gingerbread layer ingredients into the other bowl of batter.

pumpkin-gingerbread-squares-16

Pour the pumpkin batter into the baking dish and then gently pour the gingerbread batter over it.

pumpkin-gingerbread-squares-35

Bake in the 325ºF oven until the middle has set – approximately 1 hour. Remove the pan to a wire rack and cool for about 10 minutes before turning the square out onto the rack to completely cool.

pumpkin-gingerbread-squares-44

Once the bars have completely cooled, cut them into 16 squares (4×4 grid) and enjoy! A glass of milk may be required.

pumpkin-gingerbread-squares-60

Pumpkin Gingerbread Squares
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • Base:
  • 2 C Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1¾ C Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, large
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • ½ tsp Nutmeg, freshly grated
  • Pumpkin Layer:
  • 1¼ C Pumpkin
  • ¼ C Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • Gingerbread Layer:
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • ⅓ C Molasses
  • 2 tsp Ginger, ground
  • ⅛ tsp Allspice, ground
  • Pinch Cloves, ground
  • Pinch Black Pepper, ground
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Butter a square baking dish and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy. (If using kitchenaid or other electric mixer, use the paddle attachment.)
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, along with the vanilla. Pour half the batter back into the second bowl.
  5. Whisk all the pumpkin layer ingredients into one bowl of batter.
  6. Stir all the gingerbread layer ingredients into the other bowl of batter.
  7. Pour the pumpkin batter into the baking dish and then gently pour the gingerbread batter over it.
  8. Bake in the 325ºF oven until the middle has set - approximately 1 hour. Remove the pan to a wire rack and cool for about 10 minutes before turning the square out onto the rack to completely cool.
  9. Once the bars have completely cooled, cut them into 16 squares (4x4 grid) and enjoy!

pumpkin-gingerbread-squares-69