These Chocolate Toffee Pumpkin Bars are easy to make, a delicious taste of fall and make your house smell like autumn while they bake.
Next Thursday, the calendar officially flips to fall. Here in Michigan, the day after Labor Day is the unofficial start of autumn, because the kids are back in school, football is back in season and the days are getting shorter. Sometimes there’s a chill in the air already too. So far this year, we’ve had an amazing September with lots of sunshine and warm days. But that didn’t stop us from ordering Pumpkin Spice Lattes at our neighborhood Biggby Coffee shops.
In West Michigan, where I live, the trees are just beginning to change colors. The apple orchards are open for U-pick, and I see lots of pumpkin patches dotted with bright orange globes. I decided it was time to start whipping up fall treats in the kitchen, and pumpkin bars are one of my favorites.
This is my mom’s recipe. I grew up eating these. My kids like them too, except for one thing. They don’t like the raisins called for in the original recipe. Usually I just make them without, but this time I decided to add a new twist. I substituted English Toffee Bits for the raisins and nuts. My kids didn’t mind that addition at all. You can find English Toffee Bits in the baking aisle of you local grocery store next to the chocolate chips.
I frost these with cream cheese frosting. It’s the perfect complement for this spiced, cake-like treat. Instead of the traditional powdered sugar, I use brown sugar. It seems more fallish and gives the frosting a nice color. Oh, and I cover and refrigerate them, if they don’t all get eaten in one day, because of the cream cheese in the frosting.
Chocolate Toffee Pumpkin Bars Recipe
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 oz. English Toffee Bits
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 TBS butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 oz. English Toffee Bits for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the eggs, sugars, oil and pumpkin until smooth. Gradually stir in the flour. Then add the baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Stir until smooth and well combined. Fold in 4 oz. of the toffee bits.
Bake in a greased 9×13 pan for 30 to 35 minutes at 35o degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla until fluffy and well-combined. Frost cooled pumpkin bars. Sprinkle the remaining toffee bits over the frosting.