A blondie is a brownie without chocolate, and it gives the baker an opportunity to add other ingredients that might otherwise be buried by the dark richness of chocolate. To wrap up a run of experimenting with homemade pumpkin puree, Chef Zach thought to put the puree towards blondies, with butterscotch for a decadent sweetness and pecans for texture and earthiness. These smelled absolutely to-die-for as they were baking, filling the house with luxurious aroma. Eat them straight up, or serve them warm with a scoop of pecan praline ice cream for a supremely tasty dessert.
Makes 1-24, depending on how you cut them
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 cups of butterscotch chips
2 cups of pumpkin puree
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of melted butter at room temperature
1 cup of pecan halves
1/2 cup of vanilla’d sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1 tsp. of ground ginger
1/2 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally coat the bottom and sides of a 9″x13″ glass baking dish or 12″x17″ sheet pan with nonstick spray (smaller glass pan for cake-like blondies; larger sheet pan for chewier blondies). Sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and nutmeg. Mix the melted butter and sugars until combined in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add the egg to the liquid mix and stir to fully incorporate. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract, mix until well blended, and add the dry mix to the liquid mix in the liquid’s bowl; if using a stand mixer, do not go above speed 3 (low-medium).
Mix fully and well, then fold in the butterscotch chips and pecans.
Spread the mix evenly in the greased baking dish or sheet pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center, and it should come out clean with no raw batter (but little crumbs are okay). Wait at least 3 hours before cutting.