I have to admit, this recipe is a bit of a departure for me. When I was developing it, I really wanted to make pumpkin-toffee blondies, but couldn’t find toffee bits anywhere. With a deadline looming and no more stores to try, I grabbed a bag of butterscotch chips instead–you know, those cloying, artificial-tasting bits of wax…
I grew up in the Midwest, eating a lot of artificial crap, though, and nostalgia urged me to open the bag of chips in the car and try a few for old times’ sake. They were super-sweet and artificial, but also familiar in a really comfortable way–conjuring up memories of butterscotch candies sneaked from the candy dish in my dad’s office, soft-serve butterscotch sundaes, and bowls of instant butterscotch pudding. While I hate to admit it, I was instantly hooked.
In developing the actual recipe, I promise that I tempered butterscotch chips’ artificial intensity with plenty of pumpkin, pecans, and actual butter. The finished blondies are really nice and subtle. As for using a processed product rich in fake flavor and partially-hydrogenated palm kernel oil…well, I promise it’s just this once!
Makes 25 squares
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup butterscotch chips
2/3 cup chopped pecans
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 glass baking dish with foil; spray or butter foil. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- Place sugars in a large bowl; stir in melted butter. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine. Add pumpkin and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Add dry ingredients to sugar mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in butterscotch chips and pecans.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan, smooth top, and bake until edges are lightly golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 1 hour, then use foil to lift blondies from pan and place on rack until completely cool. Remove foil before cutting into squares with a serrated knife
I developed this recipe for iVillage. Image and photo are both property of iVillage.