Monday, September 27, 2010

Pumpkin-topped white chocolate blondies

This was another delicious idea from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. It was easier than I thought it would be (for some reason the initial read-through made it sounds like more steps than it is), and the only complaint I have is that the base is more liquid-y than the pumpkin topping, so most of it oozed to the sides of the pan, meaning the edge pieces had far more blondie than the middle pieces did. That being said, they were all really tasty and my stomach hurts from sampling bars from all over the pan.
If I make them again, I might place the bottom layer in the fridge for a few minutes to let it firm up some...and I also might use some strong cassia cinnamon in the blondie base...and maybe a bit more pumpkin pie spice still in the topping.
But all of that is not to say that there are any real weaknesses here -- the recipe below is a great way to kick off the autumn baking season.

White Chocolate Blondie Base:
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup white chocolate, chopped finely
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 heaping cup all-purpose flour (+1-2Tbsp extra if at altitude)
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips
Pumpkin Top:
6 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (1 1/3 heaping cups if at alt)
½ tsp. baking powder (a tad less if at alt)
Pinch of salt
1 heaping tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

Grease a 9-x-9-inch pan with baking spray.
Preheat oven to 350F.

Blondie Bottom:
Melt white chocolate and butter together in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. White chocolate does not melt as smooth and pretty as dark or milk chocolate. Don’t worry. Set aside to cool.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with beaters) beat together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla together until smooth on medium high speed. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and continue beaten until well combined.
Add flour and salt to batter, and mix on low speed until combined, with no trace of the dry ingredients in sight.
Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle white chocolate chunks/chips evenly over the top of the blondie batter. Set aside.

For Pumpkin Top:
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat together the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating until well combined.
Add the pumpkin and beat until thoroughly combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and spice to the pumpkin mixture. Mix until well combined and no trace of the dry ingredients remains.
Pour pumpkin top evenly (do the best you can) over the blondie layer in prepared pan. Bake for 30-34 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only crumbs, not batter, on it.
Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 1 hour.
Top with more white chocolate and maybe a little caramel if you would like.

Adpated from Fat Witch Brownies by Patricia Helding with Bryna Levin
(Taken here from CCbP)

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