Pumpkin Squares and A Vegan Bake Sale

Today, the group to Stop UBC Animal Research was out fundraising. They set up a table on the pedestrian busy, Vancouver street, Commercial Drive, and peddled vegan goodies to passers by (this was also a great opportunity to bring awareness to the cause). Theyasked for volunteer bakers, and of course I stepped forward, bringing Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins, Snickerdoodles, and Pumpkin Squares. Mother Nature even lent a hand, providing a great day for an outdoor bake sale, not so warm as to melt my chocolate, not too cool to keep people at home.

Pumpkin Squares

2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 cup Margarine

1 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar

1/4 cup Applesauce

3 tsp Maple Extract

1 cup Pumpkin Puree

3/4 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

3/4 cup chopped Pecans

Pre-heat oven to 350°F, and line a 13 x 9 inch pan with aluminum foil (no need to grease). Be sure there is foil over hang so you can use it to lift the squares out after baking.

Stir together the flour, spice, and baking soda. Set aside.

Cream the margarine and sugar together. Add the applesauce, maple extract, and pumpkin puree. Blend thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients and mix until it’s all moistened.

Scrape batter into foiled pan, and smooth and level surface. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes until done (an inserted toothpick will come out clean). Scatter chocolate chips over squares and return to the oven for 1 minute to melt chocolate.

Remove from oven and spread melted chocolate chips evenly over the squares until surface is completely and evenly covered. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and allow to cool for at least 1 hour.

Remove by using the foil to either lift or slide squares from pan. Cut into squares. Refrigerate to harden chocolate, if desired. Makes 24 squares.

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