I am sure you have noticed this already, but why is it that retailers and grocery stores like to be one step ahead of the season? In late August, Costco had Halloween costumes for sale. I was back last weekend picking up glasses for my hubby, (who is struggling with wearing them, as this is his very first pair–“I am getting old!” he said), and they had Christmas trees and outdoor light-up reindeer. It’s barely fall! I am just getting ready to enjoy eating pumpkin again and put nutmeg in desserts. AH!
The trees have been dumping their leaves and I have been procrastinating in raking them up. Instead, I pretend they don’t exist, choosing to be blissfully happy in the kitchen. Never mind that I can barely see the driveway because of all the leaves.
This dessert is everything you think of when you think of fall. The smell of sweet spices– cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves–waft gently through the house while baking. It’s anything to wait until they cool from the oven to enjoy a bite.
These bars are similar to a chocolate chip bar, but with the addition of the spices and covered in a layer of chocolate, you’ll be in for a fun twist on an old classic. The dough is a bit sticky, so when you spread it in the pan, be patient. But I promise you, it’ll be worth it. It bakes in a 9×13 pan, and I thought I’d have to bring some to work and have coworkers help me finish it, but between the hubby and the kids, we polished it off in 3 days. Yikes! At least we have the raking of leaves to work off the calories. Enjoy! xoxo
Chocolate Spice Bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 18 3 by 4 ½ inch squares
2 ¼ c flour
2 t cinnamon
1 t ground cloves
½ t ground nutmeg
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ c packed brown sugar
¾ c sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 ½ c semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass pan and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.
In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add both sugars and vanilla; beat until all is incorporated and creamy. (You may have to scrape down the bowl.) Add the eggs and continue to beat. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until there are no more traces of flour.
Add 1 ¼ c of the chocolate chips and mix. Dump the mixture in the pan and press to the sides, making the dough even. (This is a bit tricky, as the dough is sticky. You can spray your hands with cooking spray or coat with butter to help.)
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top. Wait 1 minute and then, using a rubber spatula, gently spread to coat the bars with a layer of chocolate. Let cool on a wire rack completely. Before cutting into bars, place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to let the chocolate layer fully set up.
Recipe Source: adapted from Farm Chicks in the Kitchen cookbook