Pumpkin Blondies

Had major cravings for fall desserts the other day – including pumpkin, caramel, browned butter and apple flavors! Probably influenced by the social media recently of fall activities and fall inspired treats. 1.5x’ed the recipe so there could be enough to bring to work for the colleagues and nurses! And added on more pumpkin pie spice (thanks Jasmin for bringing it back from Trader Joes!!) for this one. To think exactly one year ago we were all at Duke university together doing electives. My first fall experience at JHU was also one of my favorite college memories – was my first time seeing the leaves turn gorgeous shades of gold and maroon. Not to mention my first thanksgiving, and my favorite college holiday (Halloween 😛 ).

I chose this recipe because of the brown butter that adds an extra touch – not to be missed as it really deepens the flavor subtly but nicely. Just melt your butter in a saucepan and continue to cook it, and don’t worry if black particles form in the process. Just swirl the pan pretty frequently so it doesn’t burn and in a few minutes you have butter that is a deep amber, with a nutty aroma.  This extra step changes the flavor profile of these Pumpkin Blondies! I also added white chocolate chips, which surprisingly, caramelized in the oven as well, almost like a praline. Give it a try!

Try not to not overbake the brownies, especially if you like them fudgy. Espresso cream cheese goes really well with pumpkin blondies, so feel free to add that on after it cools. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Another side note – this is my 100th post! 🙂

Pumpkin Blondie Bars

Makes around 60 bars
Pumpkin Blondies adapted from Cookies and Cups

Ingredients for Pumpkin Blondies

1.5 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1.5 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
3 teaspoons vanilla
1.5 teaspoon kosher salt
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 egg
1 can pumpkin puree (increased from original)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup chopped white chocolate

Ingredients for Espresso cream cheese frosting

250g cream cheese
1 cup Icing sugar
1 tsp Espresso powder
Pinch of Salt

Decoration

Gold and silver luster dust
Vodka or whiskey to dilute luster dust

To make Pumpkin Blondies

First, brown the butter. In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and bring to a boil. Once the butter is boiling, continue cooking the butter while swirling the pan frequently to avoid burning. When the butter becomes a deep amber color, remove it from the heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 13×13 pan with foil or parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cooled butter and sugar. Using a rubber spatula, stir to combine. Add in the pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, salt, baking powder, egg, and pumpkin and mix until smooth. Evenly mix in the flour until incorporated. Stir in the white chips.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set in the middle. (A trick is to wiggle the pan gently, it should be still slightly underdone)
Allow the blondies to cool completely before slicing into bars.

To make Espresso cream cheese frosting

Cream 250g cream cheese with 1 cup icing sugar until desired consistency. Add in espresso powder and salt to taste. Spread evenly across the blondies and cut evenly

To decorate

Paint gold and white stripes across each bar!

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