Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Recipe: Brown Butter & Pumpkin Blondies with White Chocolate Chips

Some people get their kicks from tempting fate by willfully engaging in life-threatening activities. Me? Tweaking a baking recipe really gets my adrenaline flowing.

I can’t remember what trail of digital (gluten free) bread crumbs led me to this recipe on a sweet Australia-based baking blog, but the combination of pumpkin and brown butter sounded far too enticing to pass up.

The first 80% of the recipe-following drifted by blissfully well, until I started mixing in the flour. In a split second, it went from “wait, what was that I read about the blondies not rising?” to “oh shit how did that baking powder get into my perfectly creamy pumpkin batter.” I wish I could tell you what happened in between those two thoughts, but it’s kind of a blur. You see, I mentally block out stress-inducing, life-altering situations. Like adding leaveners when they’re not called for and accidentally dialing 911 from the office.

Lucky for my anxiety, the blondies turned out moist and delicious and 911 never bothered to return the call of the flustered girl who hung up on them.

Note: If you prefer your blondies on the lighter, cakier side, follow the recipe as is. For thinner blondies with a more dense texture, omit the baking powder.

[Original recipe from Raspberri Cupcakes]
Ingredients (Makes 9 large or 16 small blondies)
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup gluten free flour mix (if you’re not GF, regular all-purpose flour)
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup white chocolate chips
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted (can substitute pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay a piece of parchment in an 8-inch square pan so that it hangs over 2 of the sides. Coat the paper and the exposed pan with cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a small skillet over low heat. Once completely melted, cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently so the milk solids don’t burn. Once the butter smells nutty and is light brown in color, remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, white sugar and brown butter until the sugars have a consistency of wet sand. Add the egg, vanilla and pumpkin puree and whisk until completely smooth. Then, add the salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, flour and baking powder. Whisk one last time until the flour is completely worked into the mixture.

Switching to a rubber spatula, fold the white chocolate chips and nuts (if using) into the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and evenly spread it out.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow the blondies to cool completely, then use the parchment paper ‘handles’ to lift them out in one piece. Cut into individual bars and enjoy!

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