Creamy Chocolate Pumpkin Bars

Halloween is just around the corner. That means decorations are going up! We always wait until the morning of October 31st to put up the outside decorations. That way, they will be a surprise for the neighbors. But the inside of my house is getting a spookier and spookier!

Everyday, a new ghoul or goblin makes it’s appearance! Eeee-hee-hee-hee-hee-heeee! That’s my best witchy laugh, if you couldn’t tell. *wink*

The Halloween menu is still in the works. It’s always a balancing act to come up with a glorious array of sweet and savory items–some heavily decorated and some that just taste great!

I go a little crazy this time of year with pumpkin treats. There’s such a small window of opportunity to go overboard on pumpkin without getting a cock-eyed look! You know what I mean–try pulling out a pumpkin pie July 4th and see what happens! So clearly, I feel a certain urgency to serve pumpkin as often as possible!

These little beauties are the perfect blend of comfort and sophistication. They combine the soothing effects of cream cheese, graham crackers, and chocolate with Bourbon, Chinese Five Spice, and ultra creamy Creme Fraiche. Oh yes…and pumpkin! The result is a decedent treat to satisfy the young and old. The bourbon and five spice deliver depth a distinguished palette can appreciate, but THAT won’t stop the ankle-biters from gobbling them down, so set some aside.

This is a very easy recipe to pull together. Just allow plenty of time for cooling before you try to cut the bars!

Only the knife knows what goes on in the heart of a pumpkin.
~Simone Schwarz-Bart

To make:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large 10×15 inch pan with foil.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar, salt, and melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Beat the cream cheese, Crème Fraiche and sugar together until smooth. Add the pumpkin, flour, five spice, salt, bourbon and eggs. Blend until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips, reserving a handful for the top.

Pour the mixture on top of the graham cracker crust. Smooth out with a spatula. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top. Smack the pan on the counter a couple times to smooth everything out.

Bake for 35-40 minutes—until the center is almost set, but still jiggles a little.

Cool on a rack for one hour, then refrigerate another hour before cutting. To serve: pull the foil up on the sides and lift the whole pan of pumpkin bars out of the baking dish. Peel the foil off the sides carefully, then slice into desired size. Wipe the knife with a paper towel occasionally to keep the sides smooth. Makes 32 regular-sized bars.

Refrigerate until ready to serve!

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Yield: 32 bars

Creamy Choco-Pumpkin Bars

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
2- 8 oz. packages cream cheese
7 oz. Crème Fraiche
¾ cup sugar
15 oz. can pumpkin puree
¼ cup flour
1 tsp. Chinese five spice powder (or pumpkin pie spice)
½ sp. salt
2 Tb. Bourbon
2 eggs
12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large 10x15 inch pan with foil.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar, salt, and melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Beat the cream cheese, Crème Fraiche and sugar together until smooth. Add the pumpkin, flour, five spice, salt, bourbon and eggs. Blend until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips, reserving a handful for the top.

Pour the mixture on top of the graham cracker crust. Smooth out with a spatula. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top. Smack the pan on the counter a couple times to smooth everything out.

Bake for 35-40 minutes—until the center is almost set, but still jiggles a little.

Cool on a rack for one hour, then refrigerate another hour before cutting. To serve: pull the foil up on the sides and lift the whole pan of pumpkin bars out of the baking dish. Peel the foil off the sides carefully, then slice into desired size. Wipe the knife with a paper towel occasionally to keep the sides smooth. Makes 32 regular-sized bars.

Refrigerate until ready to serve!

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43 Responses to “Creamy Chocolate Pumpkin Bars”

  1. #
    1
    My Kitchen in the Rockies — October 21, 2010 @ 2:10 am

    Crème Fraîche, five spice and Bourbon. That is my kind of a dessert!! Do you think I have to share it with the kids?
    Love your deco in the house!

    Reply

  2. #
    2
    Belinda @zomppa — October 21, 2010 @ 2:28 am

    I think the bourbon adds just the right…punch.

    Reply

  3. #
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    apiciusapprentice — October 21, 2010 @ 2:35 am

    I'm in love with your decorations! I hope you post pictures of the outside decorations on the 31st. The choco-pumpkin bars look pretty awesome too :)

    Reply

  4. #
    4
    Nisrine — October 21, 2010 @ 3:05 am

    I love how creepy your photos are lately :) Great recipe,Sommer.

    Reply

  5. #
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    Angie's Recipes — October 21, 2010 @ 5:38 am

    The combination of flavours of this autumn cheese treat is flawless! I love your holiday decoration.

    Reply

  6. #
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    Cherine — October 21, 2010 @ 6:41 am

    Love the decoration!! And those bars look absolutely amazing!

    Reply

  7. #
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    Katerina — October 21, 2010 @ 7:22 am

    So many tasty ingredients in these bars, but most of all I like them because they contain my favorite stuff and that's chocolate. Yum, yum.

    Reply

  8. #
    8
    julie — October 21, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    5 spice powder? That's brilliant! I would have never thought to combine those flavors together. I need to cook these little beauties up just to see what they taste like! Your house is definitely starting to look a bit scary!

    Reply

  9. #
    9
    Carolyn — October 21, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

    Oh wow, I love the combination of ingredients in these bars! I also get quite a kick out of all of your decorating. Looks like you are having a ball!

    Reply

  10. #
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    Victoria K. — October 21, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

    What a perfect pumpkin treat!! Or is it a trick? haha ;-)

    Reply

  11. #
    11
    Baking Barrister — October 21, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

    The feather boa-ed candle thing is AWESOME. is that a chandelier usually in your home, or is it one big piece? And the bars are awesome too ;) i feel like people don't mix pumpkin and chocolate enough.

    Reply

  12. #
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    Susi — October 21, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

    Wow, that sounds incredible. Love the addition of the five-spice and the bourbon. And how can you go wrong with creme fraiche? Your chandelier is out of this world hilarious! Great decorations :o)

    Reply

  13. #
    13
    bunkycooks — October 21, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

    Adult treats…how fun! We got really into Halloween a few years ago and bought lots of crazy decorations. You are getting me in the mood to pull them all out this year! Love this recipe. :)

    Reply

  14. #
    14
    BakingWithoutaBox — October 21, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

    How wonderful! I made pumkpin bars last night. But your photography is just gorgeous. Brilliant use of props. And that pink boa thing with the candle swing creation is outrageous. Lol.

    Reply

  15. #
    15
    Stella — October 21, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

    Ooh, creme fraiche and pumpkin-yummerz! And I love all of your ghoulish decorations, Sommer. We like to do that too, though I must admit we are kind of naturally scary (smile)!

    Reply

  16. #
    16
    Marisa — October 21, 2010 @ 9:12 pm

    Another great recipe for the Halloween party. I think that you should totally take advantage of this time of year and just go pumpkin crazy! Your house is looking pretty spooky so far!

    Reply

  17. #
    17
    Katie@Cozydelicious — October 21, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

    I love that you use 5 spice powder! What a great idea! These look fantastic – and I love your decorations. Let us know what will be on the Halloween menu!

    Reply

  18. #
    18
    Jason Phelps — October 21, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

    I think some people are suspect of pumpkin and chocolate together, but it has to be tried to know for sure. I love pumpkin treats this time of year!

    Jason

    Reply

  19. #
    19
    Evan Thomas — October 21, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

    These look absolutely delicious!

    Reply

  20. #
    20
    Priya Sreeram — October 21, 2010 @ 11:37 pm

    Great recipe and delightfully spooky decorations—-:P ! loved the presetation and write up !

    Reply

  21. #
    21
    sara @ CaffeIna — October 22, 2010 @ 3:25 am

    I loved this post! You gave me a true sense of Halloween, something I'm not usually into it! Now I just want to start decorating my home and have a bite at these wonderful bars. Btw, my fav is the scary (or scared?!) black cat!

    Reply

  22. #
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    denise @ quickies on the dinner table — October 22, 2010 @ 3:36 am

    OMG! A bourbon, chocolate, pumpkin cheesecake….sorta! I love it! I really wish I lived in your neighbourhood :D

    Reply

  23. #
    23
    Gitte — October 22, 2010 @ 8:57 am

    Now I know what to use my five spice powder for :) Looks fabulous!

    Reply

  24. #
    24
    Dimah — October 22, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

    These look super delicious and so nice!

    Reply

  25. #
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    Emily Z — October 22, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

    Very interesting. These look just like my more simple pumpkin bars but I am intrigued by the different flavors thrown in there. The next time I have a hankering to make pumpkin bars, I might just need to try these!

    Reply

  26. #
    26
    maria — October 22, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

    Those look delicious! Great little flavorful additions to the usual bars that really make these even better.

    Reply

  27. #
    27
    Rosa's Yummy Yums — October 22, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

    I love those decorations! A pity Halloween is celebrated nor big here…

    Gorgeous bars! Can I have one, please…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply

  28. #
    28
    blackbookkitchendiaries — October 22, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

    this looks so good and the picture is stunning:) thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  29. #
    29
    laura — October 23, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

    These are gorgeous, Sommer! I love pumpkin treats and the sound of the spices, bourbon, and graham cracker crust are irresistable. ( : You're decorations really are spooky!! Love the hot pink boa!!!

    Reply

  30. #
    30
    Chef Dennis — October 23, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

    those pumpkin bars look so very very good! What a combination of ingredients….wow….bourbon, chinese 5 spice, cream cheese…..I have to taste these!! And I love your cat decoration, I would love to just leave it by my door all year long!

    Reply

  31. #
    31
    Claudia — October 23, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

    This is too much fun. I'll take an entire pan of those delicious bars right now. Love Halloween! Have to love a home filled with spooky ghosts.

    Reply

  32. #
    32
    Chow and Chatter — October 23, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

    these look fab and love the halloween decor spooky!

    Reply

  33. #
    33
    Debbie — October 23, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    These pumpkin bars look delicious! I have never done a foil lined pan, looks like it worked like a charm though, thanks for the idea!

    Reply

  34. #
    34
    briarrose — October 24, 2010 @ 12:30 am

    Great post! Looks wonderful.

    Reply

  35. #
    35
    Reeni — October 25, 2010 @ 1:26 am

    So many glorious flavors going on in here! I love the five spice powder – very unique! I bet they are tasty little treats.

    Reply

  36. #
    36
    claire — October 25, 2010 @ 3:01 am

    these look delicious! still trying to decide on a costume, but have decided these pumpkin treats are being made this week!

    Reply

  37. #
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    Magic of Spice — October 25, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

    Wow what flavors, these babies are loaded :)

    Reply

  38. #
    38
    sweetlife — October 25, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

    how fun, love the decorations…hope you post pics of your outside sppokiness…oh good lord, loving these pumpkin bars..chocolate and bourbon..killer

    sweetlife

    Reply

  39. #
    39
    Suchitra — October 26, 2010 @ 8:44 pm

    just one word looking at the bars- SUMPTUOUS!

    Reply

  40. #
    41
    gringarl — October 28, 2010 @ 1:57 am

    I love your decorations and the 5 spices chocolate pumpkin bars sound delicious

    Reply

  41. #
    42
    Biren @ Roti n Rice — October 28, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    Looks delicious! Five spice powder?….brilliant!!

    Reply

  42. #
    43
    The Mom Chef — October 28, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

    Those look outstanding. I adore five-spice powder but have to admit that I've never used it in sweet product. What an awesome idea. My daughter wants to come see all your scary decorations (especially the skeletons).

    Reply

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