Let me preface this as calling it the baking disaster that almost ended my baking career.
It all started as a craving for cookie dough.
For those of you who don’t know, it’s finals time for college students, which means a significant rise in unnecessary fighting and stress-eating.
So rather that starting my own fight club, I settled for making a big bowl of cookie dough and eating it with a spoon.
Unfortunately, as I was about to grab a spoon and nest myself into our couch with a good movie, I walked past my pantry, where we had a lone can of pumpkin. Sitting there. Looking at me.
I love pumpkin. Pumpkin pie. Bread. Oatmeal. Pancakes. Pumpkin seeds. Carving pumpkins. I could survive on pumpkins forever and die happy.
So seeing that sad can of pumpkin sitting there, I reasoned with myself- I can totally add that to my cookie dough. It’ll taste great! I love pumpkin. Besides, it’s almost out of pumpkin season all-together, so I should get rid of it.
Worst decision of my life.
My delicious chocolate chip cookie dough turned into orange goo, with chocolate chips. I literally had to walk away for five minutes.
Quick Recap: Made delicious cookie dough. Ruined delicious cookie dough. Ran out of brown sugar and chocolate chips in the process. Still was craving cookie dough. I had no choice but to try to salvage the mess I made.
1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of oats, 1/4 honey, and 1/8 cup of creamed sugar later, I returned my orange Play-Doh into something edible.
To test how it baked after being changed so drastically, I literally baked one cookie. …I don’t think I can actually call it a cookie with a good conscience. It didn’t spread, and it was kind of squishy.
But other than that, I swear the flavor was pretty good! I bribed a friend into trying it, and got his vote of confidence. Mostly. If I turned it into bars instead of cookies. And renamed it.
So, the Punkie Bars were born.
(The name is courtesy of my concoction guinea pig, Des.)
As I said, they have an interesting texture, but they have a great flavor. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend making them if squishy/dough-y bars freak you out.
- 3/4 c. Margarine
- 2 c. Flour
- 1/2 c. Brown Sugar
- 1/2 c. Sugar
- 1/2 Tbs. Vanilla
- 1 can Pumpkin
- 1/2 c. Oats
- 1/4 c. Honey
- 1-2 c. Chocolate Chips
- Pumpkin Pie Spice/ All Spice
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream the sugars, margarine, and vanilla.
- Sift in flour and oats.
- Mix-in can of pumpkin. (This is where it gets dicey.)
- Add chocolate chips and honey.
- Grease an 11 by 7 pan, and slide the dough into it.
- Bake until the dense dough solidifies. (Mine was in for like 35 minutes.)
**Note: The bars on the edges of the pan get done faster- obviously. So I cut them out and left the middle pieces in to bake longer.
As much fun as this adventure was, next time I think I’ll just stick to my bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough and a spoon.