Friday, October 9, 2015

Moist Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with Zucchini Brownie Base and Streusel Topping

I used to make up my own recipes quite often for dinner and dessert, but I have felt like there is already a recipe for anything I think up so I might as well use one that someone else has already tried. But I want to get back into making my own or tweaking others more often. 

I had this idea for a dessert that isn't super-unique, but sounded good. I love the Rich and Fudgy Zucchini Brownies that I made recently and decided that I would use that as a brownie base to some pumpkin chocolate chip bars. Instead of a cream cheese frosting like many bars have, I wanted a streusel. And I wanted it to be fairly low-fat. 

So these thick bars have zucchini, pumpkin, and are pretty low-fat, and are moist and chocolatey. Lots of goodness in one dessert!! 
Moist Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars with Zucchini Brownie Base and Streusel Topping

Zucchini Brownie Base:
2 c. chopped, fresh zucchini
3 T. butter, melted
3 eggs
1 t. pure vanilla extract
¾ c. sugar
⅔ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
½ t. espresso powder (optional)
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
½ c. flour
¾ c. chocolate chips
Pumpkin Bars:
4 large eggs
1 1/3 c. sugar
½ c. vegetable oil
½ c. applesauce
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin puree
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 t baking soda
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 ¼ c. chocolate chips
¾ c. flour
⅓ c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
5 T. butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch pan.

Zucchini Brownie Base:
Place the chopped zucchini, eggs, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor. Cover, and process until the mixture is smooth.

Add the sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, salt, and flour. Pulse a few times until well combined. Add ¾ cup of the chocolate chips and pulse a few more times to mix in the chocolate and chop it up just a bit. Pour into the prepared baking pan.

Pumpkin Bars:
In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; add to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add chocolate chips and mix in.
Spread on top of zucchini brownie base.

In a new bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the pumpkin batter.

Bake at for 30 to 35 minutes, until cooked in the middle.

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