Thursday, November 09, 2006

butternut squash and chocolate chips? oh, yeah.

I was inspired recently by Joe of Culinary in the Desert/Country to make a very large batch of (deep breath) "Chocolate Chip Butternut Squash Spice Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting" for, believe it or not, morning snacks at our church. I know, it's not technically a breakfast dish, but I figured anything cakelike in a big Pyrex baking dish qualified as a coffee cake, and my pals didn't disagree with me. Far from it.

Joe's recipe was my inspiration, but he made his with pumpkin. Great idea! I had squash. Thought I'd try it. It was bonzo. Gone in minutes, and I think I got more compliments from this than I usually get from my scones. Or at least an equal number. So let that be an indication to you!

So, here's my slightly-modified recipe for Joe's wonderful bars. Other than the squash substitution, the only other thing I changed was to add more chocolate chips. For breakfast the mini ones were fine; for a dessert I think I'd go for the bigger ones.

Go check Joe's blog, folks. He keeps insisting he's a beginner, but we know better. He makes some great stuff, and his pictures are getting really nice!

Chocolate Chip Butternut Squash Spice Bars with
Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes about 42 bars

1¾ c cooked, pureed butternut squash (I actually used the puree I had in the fridge, which had a little butter and salt in it ... no problem!)
1 c flavorless vegetable oil, such as canola
4 large eggs
1½ c granulated sugar
½ c light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 c all purpose flour
1 c whole-wheat pastry flour (I'm sure you could just use more white flour here)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 c mini chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, and sugars until combined.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves.
  • Toss in mini chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet and stir until moistened.
  • Scoop batter into a 10 x 15" baking pan coated with nonstick spray.
  • Bake until the center springs back when lightly pressed in the center - about 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 T butter, softened
2 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 c powdered sugar, sifted
¼ c chopped walnuts, toasted - optional
shaved chocolate, or more mini chocolate chips
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix until smooth.
  • Frost bars and sprinkle half with walnuts and grate some chocolate over the other half if desired.
I don't know if anything this patently loaded with fat and carbs will be allowed into Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging, but I'm going to submit it and see what they say. It's got squash in it. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it! Head on over to What's For Lunch, Honey? Sunday night to see if I got in and to see all the other, much more proper veggie and herb recipes on view for Weekend Herb Blogging this week.


Joe said...

Hi Pat! I'm excited to hear that it turned out well with butternut! Glad it was enjoyed!

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

I've tried some of Joe's recipes as well and they are really good.

Kalyn said...

Hey, squash is squash so you're good for WHB. It does sound awfully tempting.

Stew said...

Well, that's ONE way to get rid of a food that most people can't give away! :-)

@kayln - I'm thinking these bars wouldn't be all that healthy! Yummy maybe. Healthy; not so much.