Pumpkin Blondies

Happy Halloween!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the last day of October; talk about time flying! When we ushered in October I had only been back home from Florida for a mere week, the sun was still shining and my flip flops were still in my shoe rotation. Thirty-one days later, my feet are more than ready for my fuzzy, cozy boots, many parts of the country are already seeing their first snowfall, and the East coast was just walloped by a massive storm. I hope any of you that were in Sandy’s path are staying safe and warm! I decided that since I kicked off October by sharing my favorite pumpkin recipes¬†with you,¬†that I should close it out with yet another fantastic way to use up that can of pumpkin hanging out in your pantry!

I absolutely adore brownies, and believe that their lesser-known cousins, blondies, can be terribly underrated. Sure, they don’t include chocolate, but if you prepare them in just the right way, they have that same dense, fudge-like texture and thin, crackly crust that brownies have. Throw in the incredible array of flavors that you can add to blondies, and you have a blank canvas of possibilities that would make Bob Ross jealous.

In addition to pumpkin, these bars are chock full of butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips and chopped pecans. Every bite is an explosion of flavors, textures and gooey pumpkin deliciousness. If you’re looking for a quick and easy dessert to get you through passing out candy or a scary movie marathon tonight, these definitely have your name written all over them.

Goodbye October, thank you for the beautiful leaves. I’ll see you next year!

One year ago: Favorite (Hardcore Chili)
Two years ago: Homemade Caramel Apples

Pumpkin Blondies

Yield: 24 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Gooey Pumpkin Blondies loaded with butterscotch chips, white chocolate and pecans.

Ingredients:

2½ cups all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper, with enough to hang over the sides; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and both sugars until completely smooth and no lumps remain. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk to incorporate, making sure the egg has been completely mixed in. Add the pumpkin and again whisk to fully incorporate. Add the flour mixture to the batter and, using a rubber spatula, fold the mixtur until combined and no pockets of flour remain. Fold in the butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips and pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.

4. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, then use the parchment handles to lift the bars out of the pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.