Archive for October, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

posted by Zak on 10/31/2013

Since I haven’t managed to overdose on all things pumpkin yet, I decided to make Martha’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares. I ran across this recipe last year and emailed it to myself because that’s how I know I am serious about a recipe. Pinterest is sometimes just a pipe dream, you guys.

The recipe calls for pumpkin puree and it was 50% off at our market this week. It’s a total sign that all things pumpkin are going to be a distant memory in a few weeks and we will have to move on to peppermint or gingerbread.

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Run, don’t walk, and make these squares. Even if you have to pay full price for your pumpkin puree.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour (plus 2 TB if you are high altitude)
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar (it called for 1/14 cup, but I decreased it because of our altitude)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (plus 1 TB for higher altitude)
1 package (12 ounces) chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

I use this guide for baking at high altitude and we live at 7,000 feet elevation.

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside. (I know the foil thing is weird, I had never done it before, but it works)

2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree, mixture may appear curdled. Do not be alarmed, Martha said it was cool. Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

4. Lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). Peel off foil, and use a serrated knife to cut into 24 squares.

5. The next day, take everyone to school and eat two over the sink with your coffee for breakfast because ZOMG delicious.

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Castlewood Canyon State Park

posted by Zak on 10/29/2013

We went on a hike in Castlewood Canyon State Park this weekend with Troy. We had never been and it is pretty close to our house, so shame on us.

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You can get a day pass for seven bucks and it is SO worth the money. There are so many trails of various difficulty and it’s freaking scenic, you guys.

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Troy was fascinated by this tree that had been struck by lightening.

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And also by all the “caves”. Here he was pretending to be in Minecraft, so he was mining or crafting.

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We started off on an Easy trail that was about a mile, but we decided he could handle it and we took off on a Moderate one.

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He kept saying, “Nature is awesome, you guys”.

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Did you notice he got a haircut? So now he looks like a teenager and I vote he grows it out immediately.

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He ended up hiking about three miles total. Troy is an outdoor professional (in his GAP sweatshirt) and he wants all of you to know that “hiking is just walking”.

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Hiking Is Just Walking should probably be the new slogan for hiking, more people might be into it.

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I was totally into nature and hiking/walking until I saw a terrifying sign.

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I declared Hiking/Walking over and we went to eat dinner at Pizza Hut. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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