Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weird Recipe Wednesday: Pumpkin-Chai-Peanut Butter Bars

Weird Recipe Wednesday: Because some recipes are so weird I just HAVE to try them.  My curiosity always gets the better of me.

You already know about my crazy obsession with peanut butter.  I suppose it's about time to clue you in on pumpkin too.  Let's just throw pumpkin, squash and carrots together on this one. They're all orange and apparently I eat enough of them to tint my skin a weird orangey-yellow. I've cut back on carrots lately, but only because I've been eating so much squash and pumpkin. Like, ummm, eating so much of them I may have even had squash for breakfast. What can I say, the fact that they're in season is the perfect excuse to feed my obsession. I want to put pumpkin in everything, but I'll try not to overload you with pumpkin recipes. Maybe. Okay, probably not, but I won't give you enough to turn you orange.

After discovering how well peanut butter and nutmeg get along, I couldn't wait to try peanut butter and chai.  About two seconds later pumpkin-chai popped into my head.  Before I could even finish that thought I knew something with pumpkin, chai and peanut butter needed to happen.

Oh and chocolate makes everything better.  Chocolate peanut butter is a no brainer and pumpkin chocolate is fairly common too.  A few years ago I made some delicious oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and chai tea.  Obviously whatever was about to form in my kitchen needed to include some chocolate, there was just no way around it.

Can I just tell you that pumpkin-chai-peanut butter-chocolate chip is soooo much better than peanut butter-banana-basil-chocolate chip?  Speckled with chai and studded with chocolate, these cake-like bars have soft, slightly gooey centers.  Using pumpkin in place of most of the butter gives these bars a texture somewhere between a light snack cake and a cookie.  Pumpkin and peanut butter mingle delicately in the background as chocolate adds just the right touch of sweetness to an already enticing blend of spices.  Instead of folding in the chocolate chips on my next batch, I think I'll melt them with a little extra peanut butter, then spread, drizzle or slather over the top for a frosted bar.  Because I definitely need another excuse to make these again.

Pumpkin-Chai-Peanut Butter Bars

1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 bag vanilla chai tea
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp quick oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chocolate chips

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square pan with non-stick spray; set aside.
* In a medium bowl cream the pumpkin, peanut butter and butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute on medium-high speed of an electric mixer. Beat in granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg white and vanilla and beat to combine.
* Cut open tea bag and pour contents into batter. Stir in flour, oats, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in chocolate chips.  Spread dough into prepared pan and bake 15-18 minutes or until edges are golden and center is just set but still soft. Let cool before cutting into triangles.

Food for Thought: "The strength of our patience hangs on our capacity to believe that God is up to something good for us in all our delays and detours." -John Piper 


  1. Today in fine dining we were doing preprep for next week's meal and the salad is roasted butternut squash, craisins, walnuts, and arugula in light vinaigrette. They roasted the squash, let it cool, then tossed it with the other ingredients. Needless to say, I ate 4 servings of this salad. I, too love squash.

    1. Mmm,sounds delicious. I made spaghetti squash a work yesterday and might make some at home today. We bought a whole assortment at the orchard and I am discovering lots of new kinds. Have you tried Delicata? It's extra sweet and comes in a perfect single serving size. Microwave it whole for a quick supper for one.