pumpkin patch at Borchard Farms

 

We took a family road trip last week, we drove seven hours north and spent the weekend

at one of my favorite coastal town, Monterey, CA. The hubby and I have made

a trip there almost every year (except for the year the baby was born), and it was great to

share it with the little one this time around.

The main attraction in Monterey is the aquarium. So we spent a lot of time there, but we

also took the opportunity to visit a local pumpkin patch. We drove thru hours

and hours of farmland, so we knew the pumpkin patch in the area

was going to be great since  they were actual working farms.

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We spent half the day at the aquarium and went looking for a pumpkin patch

in the afternoon. It worked out great because we got there about an hour

before sunset, that’s the magical hour for taking pictures.

The lighting was beautiful and our toddler had plenty

of energy after his nap.

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I brought my big camera for this outing (something I hardly do anymore) and so glad I did.

I hope to make this a yearly tradition since the little man enjoys being around pumpkins.

The farm that we visited grew giant pumpkins and they were all out on display. I’ve never

seen such a thing, so beautiful and unique.

There is something magical about fall, something in the air. To me, it signals family and tradition,

and house full of people, food and love.

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{recipe} Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

For the last two years, I’ve done a bake sale during fall season to raise funds for charity.  We fundraise and do the 5K walk every October. As part of my contribution to my team, I like to do a bake sale so I can raise money and entice family and friends to donate to a good cause. I set a minimum amount of donation in exchange for goodies and treats of their choice.

This pumpkin chocolate chip treat is always popular during the bake sale. I always make extra to give to Baby H’s daycare teachers, to bring to work and share with my co-workers and also make another batch for parties. Even people who commented that they don’t really like pumpkin, have loved this dessert.  The pumpkin flavor is not over powering, if that’s an issue at all.  I actually like pumpkin flavor, but don’t really love pumpkin pie, I think it’s the lack texture that gets to me.

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I love the soft texture, the pumpkin fragrant and of course, chocolate chips. It’s more dense than a cake, but lighter than a blondie.

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I’ve baked in different pans, in 9×13 pans, in 2 batches of 8×8 pans but my favorite way is to put in this brownie pan that I got a couple years back. It’s baked in perfect portions and they come out with perfect crusts and can be easily separated.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

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 used the pictured pan above
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and suga on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). 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.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

 

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This is how they turn out when I baked in the 9×13 pan, the slices are thicker.

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