Yes, I cut these bars awfully unevenly! But don't let that or the half-eaten pan dissuade you: these bars are really good. Their consistency is like brownies, but with pumpkin flavor.
The bars are adapted from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook. The philosophy of King Arthur was that the recipes in the cookbook would be great on their own merit, not just "good - for whole grain." By using various kinds of whole-grain flours, mixing whole grains with all-purpose flour, letting batters "rest" overnight in the refrigerator, and yes, using butter freely, I think they accomplished this goal.
The large amount of butter in this recipe works out to 1/2 T. per bar if you cut them into 24 pieces, which is not unreasonable. You could replace 1/4 cup of butter with applesauce, and they'd still be great.
Variation idea: swap chocolate chips and raisins or Craisins for the cinnamon chips and apples
Golden Cinnamon-Pumpkin Bars
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 t. ground cinnamon
3/4 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. ground allspice
1 large egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup cinnamon chips
1 cup diced unpeeled apple
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan
Melt butter in a medium microwave-safe bolw or in a saucepan set over low heat, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the microwave briefly, until it's hot and starting to bubble (1-2 minutes -check midway). Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and allow it to cool until you can comfortably test it with your finger.
Beat in the vanilla, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Stir in the pumpkin, flour, chips, and apple. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake the bars until a sharp knife inserted into the center reveals moist crumbs, 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.