I moved two weeks ago. Still in Boston… still in the same neighborhood even, but the move was (as all moves are) tough. I lived in my old place only two years, but I loved it. Spacious, updated and most of all, it was mine. Two years of memories. Two years of laughter. Two years of pain. My things were on the wall, on the ground, everywhere. As my dad says, it was my dirt.
Don't get me wrong. My new apartment is just lovely. And a big step. But when I opened the door expecting a blank slate for my creative genius (just kidding), I was a little bit horrified by how unpleasant the place was left. Food stains on the oven. Black residue in the shower. The toilet wasn't even flushed. Are you wondering where this is going? I would be too.
The point is, the place was a mess. And the previous tenant looked at me and said "I think it's pretty much good to go, here are the keys!" Reluctantly, and with a bit of a pit in my stomach, we went to town. My mom, dad, boyfriend and I cleaned, painted, and eventually I nested. But it wasn't until the other day that I baked… that it all came together. It was suddenly my kitchen. Suddenly my couches felt more homey. The candles really started emitting this cozy fragrance. The little things I once scoffed at in the place were now the character I so much appreciated.
Alas, it is my new home. And I love it. But maybe, just maybe, the baking saved it all. Oh and by the way, I got these chocolate chip pumpkin bars out of my new cozy lovely little home as fast as I could… because, well, damn.
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 whole eggs
⅔ cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup milk
¼ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chunks (in retrospect, chips would have been better)
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13-inch pan with non-stick spray. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and place aside. Meanwhile, in a stand up mixer, mix all wet ingredients until well combined. By hand, fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
2. Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Transfer into prepared baking dish and bake for 14-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before cutting bars.
3. In a mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Stir in powdered sugar and mix until creamy. Add vanilla and stir until evenly distributed. Spread on pumpkin bars and top with more chocolate chips.
*Recipe from Layers of Happiness