"Pumpkin spice and everything nice, that's what fall is made of." -unknown
A week or so ago, I was shopping at my local Trader Joe's store (do you have Trader Joe's near you? Isn't it just the best?!!), when I walked by a big display of Pumpkin Butter. At first I just noticed and continued walking, and then a bolt of inspiration hit me. Mind you I had never even tried pumpkin butter before. I had no idea of the actual consistency or flavor profile, yet I bought a jar. Why? Something in my head said Pumpkin Butter-Pecan Blondies would be a good idea. And guess what? It was! These blondies are so good. You are going to love them. And you know what? If you or your loved ones are not of the pie for Thanksgiving ilk, these will make the perfect Thanksgiving or anytime fall dessert (a la mode would NOT be a bad thing). Obviously I developed the recipe with the Trader Joe's brand of pumpkin butter, but 10 ounces of any pumpkin butter should work. Are you ready to get baking? Oh, and the house is going to smell so good, too (bonus!).
Pumpkin Butter-Pecan Blondies
10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped*
1-10 ounce jar pumpkin butter (I used Trader Joe's brand)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Spray foil-lined pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
2. Combine flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
3. Cream together butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.
4. Reduce speed, add in egg and vanilla. Return to medium speed and mix until well combined.
5. On low speed, stir in flour mixture just until a few white streaks remain. Stir in chopped pecans.
6. Divide batter in half. spread half of batter evenly over bottom of prepared pan with an off-set spatula. It will be fairly thin.
7. Spread pumpkin butter over the batter but not all the way to the edges. Drop the remaining dough as evenly as possible over the top of the pumpkin butter.
8. Using off-set spatula and your clean fingers, carefully flatten/spread batter to cover pumpkin butter as much as possible. It will spread more upon baking. No need to cover all the way to the edge.
9. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until done and top feels firm (not hard) to touch when pressed with your fingers.. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting. Makes 9 bars. Store in refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature, if you can, before devouring.
*To toast pecans, spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 8-10 minutes until just fragrant. Watch carefully. nuts go from perfect to burnt in no time flat. Allow to cool completely before using.