October 30, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Blondies

I never really understood the pumpkin spice craze. Yes, cinnamon and nutmeg and all those flavors remind me of fall and are undoubtedly delicious, but people go crazy every year (every LABOR DAY and IT'S NOT EVEN FALL THEN) for foods that don't even have pumpkin in them. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that yes pumpkin spice is tasty but it's always far too early and full of false advertising. So you may be wondering why I decided to post a recipe for pumpkin spice anything after that mini-rant. Well, these blondies actually have pumpkin in them and we are far enough into fall that it seems appropriate. If you like fall and you like my original blondies, you'll love these.

A lot of people don't really know what a blondie is. Normally, I'd say it's a chocolate chip cookie in brownie form, but these are special. They're packed with pumpkin and fall spices, and you can choose to throw in some white chocolate chips and/or dried cranberries for some extra sweetness and a pop of color. They're soft, chewy, and perfect for snacking on while waiting for the next round of trick-or-treaters.

It's a pretty simple recipe; all you have to do is whisk your dry ingredients together (your standard flour, leavening, and salt mixture plus those pumpkin spices; I'm pretty sure you can just buy containers of pumpkin spice instead of buying the spices individually) and stir them into your wet ingredients and sugar (melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla). I use brown sugar for extra chewiness and a hint of butterscotchy flavor, and you don't need much butter or many eggs since there's so much pumpkin crammed into these bars. I'll sometimes add a handful of white chocolate chips since I think all blondies need some sort of chocolate and for me white chocolate goes so much better with pumpkin than regular chocolate chips. Cranberries are also good if you want a bit of tartness, and they have such a gorgeous color.

I'm sure I'm not alone in that something about fall makes me want to bake constantly. I'm not sure if it's stress-baking from midterms or so many yummy things in season or just occasions like Halloween or Thanksgiving, but there's almost always some sort of treat sitting in the kitchen to nibble on. These are perfect for filling that void since they're so easy to make and have a ton of pumpkin in them, so they can't be that bad for you. Well, at least that's what I tell myself when I alternate between the blondies and handfuls of Halloween candy.

1 Stick Butter, Melted & Cooled
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1 1/3 Cups Flour
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Cloves
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips, Optional
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries, Optional

Heat oven to 350F and line an 8x8" or 9x9" pan with parchment.

Whisk the butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla together. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Whisk the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, baking powder, and salt together, then add to the pumpkin mixture. Fold in the white chocolate and cranberries.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Makes 16
Recipe Adapted from Celebrating Sweets

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