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Pumpkin Butterscotch Pecan Blondies

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.

pumpkin butterscotch pecan blondies

pumpkin butterscotch pecan blondies

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

melted butter and sugars

melted butter and sugars

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.

with pumpkin, egg, and vanilla

with pumpkin, egg, and vanilla

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).

folded, finished batter

folded, finished batter

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.

Satan’s Blood Chocolate Fondue with Assorted Dipping Goodies

To round out the Can You Beat the Heat? dinner party, dessert had to match the theme.  Chocolate fondue is a crowd favorite, but ours tonight had a pour from the vial of Satan’s Blood Chili Extract to deepen the delight of this devilish dessert.

• For the fondue:

16 oz. of chopped dark chocolate

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup of vanilla caramel sauce (follow the link to our recipe)

1 tsp. of Satan’s Blood Chili Extract

In a small saucepan on the lowest heat possible, scald the whipping cream so a skin develops on the surface.  Do NOT let it come to a boil.  Add the chocolate to the scalded cream and mix until the chocolate is completely melted.  Stir in and fully incorporate the caramel and chili extract, then transfer to a preheated Le Creuset fondue pot.

• For the dippers:

3 mini pound cake loafs

10 strawberries

1 Fuji apple

1 Granny Smith apple

Mini pecan pie tartlets (from Whole Foods or your local bakery)

Mini chocolate chip cookie sandwiches (Whole Foods again)

Coconut macarons (W.F.)

Cut the strawberries in half, and slice the apples and pound cake loafs.  Beware if something drops in the chocolate and you fish it out with your finger, because even if you lick off the chocolate, you will still have residue of the extract and you definitely don’t want to put that finger in a bad place.