Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Blondies with Brown Butter Frosting

It's officially fall!  The season of changing leaves, cozy sweaters, Mixed Con and so on.  But, most importantly it's the season of pumpkin!  I love summer and going to the water park with my little guy, but about mid to late August I start getting antsy for fall and everything pumpkin.  Pumpkins on the front porch, carving them, pumpkin bread, waffles, lattes.  Pumpkin everything.

This year is no exception.  I held off as long as I could but I did share my first pumpkin recipe while it was still officially summer.  Ooops!  Ever since it's been a never ending pumpkin parade in my kitchen.

Blondies are another one of my favorite desserts.  The chocolate-less version of brownies; blondies are made with butter, brown sugar, flour eggs and salt.  They are amazing and the brown sugar gives them that chewy texture and caramel flavor.  Since they use brown instead of white sugar they are also known as brown sugar squares.

Now, how exactly can you turn these little goodies into a dessert that screams fall?  Well, add pumpkin of course.  Pumpkin is in a food group all it's own, and when fall rolls around this food group is in full force being added to drinks, desserts and even savory dishes.

I am on the pumpkin bandwagon 110%.  So the idea of adding pumpkin to the ever amazing brown sugar squares was a no brainer.  What should go with pumpkin, cinnamon and cloves.  These two spices add a punch of flavor and a hint o warmth to the mix.  Then there's the amazingly smooth dark chocolate and earthy, nutty pecans.
Just when you think it can't get any better, they are topped with an amazing frosting.  But not just any frosting, frosting that's packed with brown butter (my weakness) and maple syrup.  These bars are the epitome of fall.  Each bite will have you dreaming of the crisp weather and orange, red, brown and yellows that paint the leaves that are preparing to fall from the trees.

Celebrate fall and the wonders of pumpkin with these pumpkin bars!

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Blondies with Brown Butter Frosting
Ingredients:

For the blondies-
1 Cup + 2 Tbsp flour
3/4 Tsp cinnamon
1/4 Tsp ground cloves
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Egg
1 Cup Imperial or Dixie Crystal Dark Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp vanilla
2/3 Cup pumpkin puree
1/2 Cup dark chocolate chips
1 Cup pecans, roughly chopped

For the brown butter frosting-
1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) butter
1-1 1/2 Cups Imperial or Dixie Crystal Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1-3 Tbsp milk


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper, spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, and salt and whisk to combine.  Set aside.

Place butter in a mixing bowl and beat on high till creamy, about 1 minute.  Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the vanilla and pumpkin and mix to combine.  Add the flour mixture and mix until incorporated.  Once combined add the dark chocolate chips and pecans and mix to combine.

Pour in the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

For the frosting-
Place butter in a small saucepan and place over low heat.  Once the butter has melted it will begin to crackle and foam, swirl occasionally.  Keep over heat until the butter becomes golden brown, keep a close eye since it goes from golden to burned quickly.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Combine the brown butter and powdered sugar and mix to combine.  Add the maple syrup and stir to combine.  Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.  Spread over the blondies.  Cut and serve.

Recipe source: A Lynsey Original

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