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30 October 2012

New Recipe Time

When I first started this blog I promised you recipes and delivered... for awhile (search for "recipe" in the search box above to see all).  Then as the blog, my photography and cooking fell by the wayside I stopped posting pictures and recipes.  I got on this crazy eating out spree and it spiraled out of control to where I barely cooked for weeks at a time. Well I'm trying to turn that around. I want to bring you recipes from my adventures in cooking and I want to start cooking more.  I hate that because while it IS easier to eat out, I truly enjoy cooking and trying new things. It's fun.

Anyhoo while I do love cooking, I don't normally bake.  Baking is much too structured for me.  I'm no good at paying attention to exact measurements as any of my friends can tell you.  I distinctly remember making a recipe for whoopie pies and "accidentally" adding one tbsp of baking soda, instead of 1 tsp. I then tried to scoop what I thought was the extra out to no avail.  The recipe turned out fine, but it proved to me that I am horrible at following directions. However I saw a recipe for pumpkin and brown butter blondies (dreamed up by Rasberri Cupcakes) on the internet one day and I immediately pinned it.   I love anything pumpkin so it was a need-to-try.  I also love changing leaves, falling leaves, s'mores, campfires, and anything else fall related, but that's neither here nor there. Last week I was craving sweets and I saw a Pinterest Challenge post from Young House Love so decided I need to bust out this recipe. The Pinterest challenge was created by Katie and Sherry so that people would actually make some of the things they have pinned be it DIY or recipes which is a good thing since I pin a lot and actually follow through with very little. Despite my shitty measuring (and following directions) track record I figured I would make a batch, eat a couple, and bring the rest to work if they were good.  If bad I would consume them all. Just kidding (maybe). Shockingly I did nothing wrong, except maybe not brown the butter long enough, and they were amazing.  As in, I wish pumpkin desserts were accepted year round and not just fall. Check the recipe below and prepare yourself to amaze everyone with your stellar baking skills at your next potluck, thanksgiving meal, work cube, or surprise freezer find. 

Pumpkin & Brown Butter Blondies
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree fresh or canned
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or (3/4 tsp ground cinnamon,1/8 tsp allspice, and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg)
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush a 8-inch square baking pan with some melted butter; line pan with a piece of baking paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter paper.

To prepare the brown butter: place butter in a small saucepan on low heat until it melts, continue to stir over low heat but keep a close eye on it, as it begins to bubble and the milk solids separate and settle at the bottom of the pan. Stir it frequently at this point, so that the milk solids do not settle at the bottom of the pan for too long and burn. Continue until the mixture turns brown and smells nutty but take care not to leave it for too long or it will taste burnt. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, lightly whisk browned butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin puree. Add pumpkin pie spice, flour, and salt; stir just until moistened (do not overmix). Fold in 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining white chocolate chips.

Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.  Set pan on a wire rack, and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 20 pieces. Blondies can be stored for several days in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve at room temperature.

FYI: I tried topping a couple of the bars with butterscotch chips, instead of white choco chips because a work friend isn't a fan of white chocolate (despite them still being inside the bar...sneaky), but while she liked them I wasn't the biggest fan.  A little too sweet for me.  Just know that you can top them with other types of candied "chips".

Here are the other ladies "Pinterest Challenge" posts: Katie, Sherry, Caramel, and Sarah

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