I’m not quite sure when my pumpkin obsession started. Growing up my grandmother’s pumpkin pie recipe was always my favorite and I loved the pumpkin muffins my mom made. However, that is where my pumpkin experiences ended.
As far as the cheery winter squash goes, that was the extent of my using it. Not only that, but it was also restricted to a specific time of year, October through November.
My pumpkin like turned to pumpkin love when we moved to Brazil. I honestly had no idea that other cultures were so good at using pumpkin until I began seeing all the different varieties at the farmer’s markets and the creative dishes on menus and buffets.
The pumpkins there were nothing like our standard Jack O’ Lantern and pie pumpkins in Kentucky. Some were dark green with deep ridges; others were bright orange, flat and round. There was candied pumpkin, pumpkin in pastas and roasted pumpkin topped with Gorgonzola as a side dish.
Fortunately, this year I’m starting to see some variation in pumpkin varieties in our area and I love it. To add to that, pumpkin is popping up in unexpected places, especially in my kitchen.
Now, I’m not breaking any pumpkin records with this recipe. It’s a sweet dessert made in autumn, yes. Pretty standard; but worth posting if you need an idea for something besides a quick bread or muffin.
I wish these had turned out a little chewier like traditional blondies, but I have yet to make a pumpkin baked good that doesn’t turn out a bit cakey. So call them, cake, bars or blondies, but whatever the name, call them good.
Adapted from Butterscotch Brownies or Blondies from Joy of Cooking
1 cup white whole wheat flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup mascavo or muscovado sugar
¼ cup Demerara or raw sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 inch baking pan.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter then allow it to boil, stirring constantly, until it is light golden brown. About 4 minutes. Stir in both sugars. Stir well to combine. Set aside and let cool until barely warm.
Stir the egg into the sugar and butter. Mix well. Stir in the vanilla. Add the pumpkin puree. Slowly add in the flour mixture, stir just until combined. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and stir to incorporate.
Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool and cut into bars. Makes 16 small bars.