Friday, January 14, 2011

Pumpkin Blondies

A few nights ago I hosted my husband's track team at our house for dinner. I made a baked potato, chili and salad bar for the 30+ athletes that could make it out to the middle of no where to our house one snowy night. Even though those athletes brought with them a big appetite, I still had a TON of food leftover (some of it not even prepared). But with all these chopped veggies for salad toppings, I knew they wouldn't stay fresh forever and I needed a way to use them up quickly. So I sent an email out to a bunch of our friends and invited about 10 more people over for lunch after church on Sunday. Everyone was up for a tasty free meal!

Well Sunday morning rolled around and I had a mini-panic when I realized I did not have any dessert to serve with my leftover chili/potato/salad bar. So I did a little brainstorming and decided that a bar cookie would be the fastest to prepare since I wouldn't have to form each cookie. I could whip up the ingredients and put it in the oven while I finished getting ready for church. I found this recipe for Pumpkin Blondies on The Girl Who Ate Everything and I had all the ingredients (except white chocolate chips, so I substituted semi-sweet...). It was perfect!

As originally posted, each bar provides:
229 calories
12.3 g fat
32.6 g carbohydrate
1.1 g fiber
2.5 g protein

It turned out awesome, I got lots of complements on how tasty they were. I made a couple changes. I swapped out half of the flour for whole wheat flour. I also substituted half of the butter with unsweetened applesauce. In a traditional cookie I wouldn't normally do this as the butter provides structure to the cookie. But since it was a bar, I figure it didn't need to hold its shape as much in the oven. I also like that this recipe calls for 24 servings which is a decent size bar once they are all cut. If you wished to slash your calories or fat even more, cut them into smaller pieces.

Pumpkin Blondies - BETTER

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup white chocolate chips (or semi-sweet in my case)
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional and not included in the nutrition facts)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with foil. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat butter, applesauce and sugar on medium-high speed of a hand mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips (and pecans, if using) with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.

To serve, lift the cake from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off the foil and using a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares.

Makes 24 pieces. Each pieces:
195 calories
8.5 g fat
32.8 g carbohydrate
1.6 g fiber
2.6 g protein

1 comment:

  1. I've been making something similar for the past few weeks - perfect dessert or snack and so delicious!