These Pumpkin Bars With Oreos & Chocolate Chips are gooey, soft, chewy, and the perfect combination of pumpkin and chocolate. The pumpkin keeps the bars extra moist, and the Oreos take these to the next level. Serve warm with ice cream on top, or cut them into bars for the perfect fall dessert.
A lot of my recipe inspiration comes from my husband's selective palette. It always keeps my mind churning with new ideas. He is not the biggest fan of pumpkin spice but can handle it in small doses. I was determined to make something pumpkin flavored that he would enjoy for a couple of reasons.
Pumpkin does not have a super strong flavor on its own, but it does add a lot of moisture and keeps breads, muffins, cakes, and such very soft. So I wanted to use it for the texture. Reason number two is that I enjoy a little pumpkin spice this time of the year, because I am all about the seasonal festivities and foods.
These pumpkin bars are softer and little more cake-like than a traditional cookie. They are light on the pumpkin spice flavor to allow the other goodies to shine too. They are simply delicious, and even the pumpkin spice haters will enjoy them. And I mean you can't go wrong with throwing in some Oreos and extra chocolate.
Checkout my brown butter apple pecan cookies, if you are looking for another fall cookie recipe!
Let's Get Baking
- Line the pan. Use two pieces of parchment crossing over each-other. See the photo above.
- Prepare the dry ingredients. This is typically step one of the baking process. Whisk them all together so that the leavening, salt, and spices distribute evenly into the wet ingredients.
- Cream the butter and sugars. Mix on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes to add air. This helps the pumpkin bars stay soft, and more like the texture of a brownie.
- Add the rest of the wet ingredients. We add these after the butter and sugar are creamed, because we do not want them to be mixed for as long.
- Add the dry ingredients. Add about ½ of a cup of the dry mixture at a time.
- Add the chocolate & Oreos. Fold the goodies (save some chocolate for on top) into the dough with a spatula. Pour into the prepared pan. Add the rest of the chocolate on top.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes. These bars do not dry out very easily so they will need at least 40 minutes in the oven. Check them with a toothpick. Once it comes out clean, they are done.
- Cool or serve warm. If you want to cut them into bars, allow them to cool completely on a rack before cutting. Option two is to just scoop them out warm, and serve immediately with ice cream.
Tips for Making the Best Pumpkin Bars
- Don't skip out on lining the pan. I normally cut two pieces of parchment paper long enough to stick up past the edge of the pan and a little skinnier than the width of the pan. Lay them crossed in the pan. This makes removing the bars so easy.
- Remove as much water from the pumpkin as possible. Measure the pumpkin first, and then put it on a plate lined with paper towels. Using another layer on top press on the pumpkin to release water. Repeat this a few times until the pumpkin seems drier.
- Cool the pumpkin bars completely. If you want to cut them into bars, do not remove them until they have cooled for at least one hour. They will fall apart if they are too warm.
- Use a scale or spoon and level the flour. Weighing the ingredients with a scale (like this one) is the most precise way to bake. If you bake at all, invest in a small kitchen scale. If you do not have a scale, be sure to spoon and level the flour. All this means is to use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup, and then scrape excess off with a knife. This prevents the flour from being packed into the measuring cup.
- Use arrowroot or corn starch. This helps the bar stay soft. You can use these interchangeably without adjusting the measurement.
Freezing Pumpkin Bars
After the pumpkin bars have completely cooled, cut them into squares (9-16). Allow these to cool on the counter overnight, or place in the fridge for a few hours.
Once they have cooled, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment and freeze for 2 hours. Then, transfer the bars to a freezer bag, and remove any excess air.
When you are ready to eat, pop them into the microwave for about 30 seconds. You can also transfer them to the fridge and thaw them overnight.