Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip BlondiesWhile I am all about the Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake I posted on Wednesday, I’ll be the first to admit that it might be intimidating. I sort of live for complex recipes, but I totally get that a recipe involving making your own toasted hazelnut meal and relying on whipped egg whites for structure might not be for everyone 😬

Today, let’s keep things simple. Really, really, really simple. Let’s make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip BlondiesY’all, this recipe is about as simple as it gets. To make these seasonal sweets, you’ll only need a bowl, a whisk and a silicone spatula. No mixer required!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip BlondiesThis recipe is just a pumpkined-up (<–let me have that one 🙏🏻 ) version of my regular blondie recipe. Adding pumpkin pie spice is a no-brainer, but how do I get pumpkin into these cute little bars?! Easy—just omit the egg white (but keep the yolk!) and add 1/4 cup of pumpkin purée in its place! This keeps our blondies chewy rather than cakey, as pumpkin baked goods are prone to be. If you want cake, make my Pumpkin Bundt Cake—yes, I’m still obsessed with it.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip BlondiesThe batter for these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies comes together in about ten minutes and bakes up in twenty. By far the most time consuming part of this process is waiting for the blondies to cool…

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies…but it only takes an hour and it’s totally worth it. I mean, look at these clean edges 😍

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip BlondiesYou’re going to love these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies! They’ve got all the chewy texture you expect from a great blondie, all the pumpkin flavor you want, and chocolate. Plus, you can practically make ‘em with your eyes closed!

But don’t, okay? 👀 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies
makes one 9-inch pan, about 9-16 blondies 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
1 large egg yolk, room temperature 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, leaving overhang on two sides. Grease the foil. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Whisk in pumpkin purée and egg yolk, followed by vanilla. Add flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt, and whisk to combine. Fold in 2/3 cup of the semisweet chocolate chips. Spread batter into prepared pan. Dot the top with remaining 2 tablespoons of semisweet chocolate chips. Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs.

Let blondies cool completely in the pan on a rack. Use the foil overhang to remove them to a cutting board. Remove foil. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice blondies. Serve.

Leftover blondies will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

Brown Butter Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches

  I spent all day trying to come up with a fun way to introduce today’s recipe, but it doesn’t need any fanfare. I mean, how could I possibly go on and on about what I’ve been doing this week when we have Brown Butter Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches to discuss?!

That’s right. Brown Butter. Blondie. Ice Cream. Sandwiches. 

Y’all. These are so good. I mean, how couldn’t they be? Ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip brown butter blondies? Sign me up!

This recipe is made with the same base I used for the Chocolate Chip-Pecan Brown Butter Blondies I made earlier this summer. I left out the pecans here, but that’s the only adjustment I made. I might also suggest using mini chocolate chips instead of the standard size, only because big chunks of frozen chocolate are a little hard to bite through. Not that I had any problem putting away two of these yesterday afternoon.

Anyway…for the ice cream sandwiches, you’ll need to make two batches of those chocolaty, brown-buttery blondies. Once they’re baked, stash them in the freezer for a half hour or so, until they’re a little cooler than room temperature. 

  Once your blondies are cool, scoop ice cream onto one batch and then use a spatula to smooth it into an even layer. Top the ice cream layer with the other batch of blondies, pressing down slightly to make sure everything is adhered together. Freeze the assembled ice cream sandwiches for at least two hours before slicing and serving.

These Brown Butter Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches are my new favorite summer treat! The blondies are a little crunchy from being frozen, but still retain their signature chew. And the ice cream…I mean, hello. Ice cream and caramelly, chocolate chip-studded blondies are a match made in heaven. Sure, they’re a little messy to eat, but what good ice cream sandwich isn’t?! 

 Brown Butter Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches
makes 16-25 ice cream sandwiches

1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups light or dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or 1 2/3 cups mini chocolate chips)
2-3 cups (1-1 1/2 pints) ice cream of choice

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 9-inch square baking dishes with butter. Line with parchment, leaving a little overhang for removal, and butter again. Set aside.

Brown the butter. Place butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Let butter melt. Butter will bubble and crackle as the water content evaporates. Swirl the pan frequently for 5-7 minutes, keeping an eye on the color. When the solids are turning brown and the butter is nutty and fragrant, remove the pot from the heat and immediately pour the brown butter into a large mixing bowl.

Add brown sugar to the brown butter and stir to combine (it will be thick and look like wet sand). Whisk in egg and vanilla. Use a silicone spatula to stir in flour and salt, scraping down the bowl as needed. Fold in chocolate chips.

Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let blondies cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before placing them in the freezer for 30 minutes, until cool. Thaw ice cream just so that its scoopable.

Remove one pan from the freezer. Leaving the blondies in the parchment-lined pan, drop ice cream in scoops over the top, and then use a spatula to smooth it into one even layer. Remove the other pan from the freezer. Use the parchment to lift the un-topped blondies from the pan. Remove parchment. Place Blondies over the ice cream layer. Press down slightly to make sure everything is adhered. Cover the pan in foil and freeze at least two hours.

When everything is frozen, remove pan from freezer. Remove foil, and use parchment to lift ice cream-filled blondies onto a cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife to remove any ice cream that may have squished out the sides. Slice into 16-25 sandwiches. Place ice cream sandwiches in an airtight container, using wax paper between layers to prevent sticking.

Ice cream sandwiches will keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Magic Blondies

 Today’s the day! In just a few hours, I’m going to pile into a car with three of my girlfriends and set off for a rustic island off the coast of Maine! I can’t wait.

We won’t reach our destination until tomorrow evening though. It’s a ten hour drive from Brooklyn, so we’re stopping overnight in Connecticut and saving the long-haul for Saturday. We’ll spend those hours planning our grocery list and listening to music, getting psyched up for our week off. And of course, since ten hours is a looooong drive, we’ll have snacks. I’m bringing these Magic Blondies. 

What makes these blondies so magical? Well, if you’ve ever had Magic Bars (aka 7 Layer Bars or Hello Dollies), you know the amazing things that happen when you bake a combination of sweetened condensed milk, shredded coconut, pecans, butterscotch chips, and chocolate chips over a graham cracker crust. The sweetened condensed milk caramelizes, the coconut and pecans get toasty, and the butterscotch and chocolate chips get super soft. The gooey combination is insanely good over buttery graham cracker crust! 

But graham cracker crust is crumbly, and therefore not great for road tripping. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend ten hours picking crumbs out of upholstery! That’s where the blondie part comes in! I swapped the traditional graham cracker crust for my favorite blondie base before pouring over the sweetened condensed milk and all the toppings. Everything bakes into the batter, leaving you with a soft, brown sugary blondie topped with a layer of gooey, melty, nutty magic!

These Magic Blondies are perfect for picnics, cookouts, and obviously, road trips! Wherever you take them, they’re sure to be, well, magical 😊

What are you doing this weekend? 

 Magic Blondies
makes one 9×9″ pan,* about 16 blondies 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish. Line with parchment, leaving a little overhang on the sides for easy removal from the pan. Butter the parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and light brown sugar. Stir in the egg and vanilla, followed by flour and salt. Transfer batter to the prepared baking dish.

Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the top of the blondie batter. Top with shredded coconut, followed by pecans, butterscotch chips, and chocolate chips. With a clean hand, press down lightly to get toppings to slightly adhere to the sweetened condensed milk.

Tap pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake for 30 minutes, tenting with foil if anything begins to brown too quickly. Blondies are done when the sweetened condensed milk layer just barely jiggles when the pan is jostled.

Let blondies cool completely in the pan. Use the parchment to lift them out of the pan. Slice into 16 squares. Serve room temperature or cold.

Magic Blondies will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Note:

An 8×8″ pan may be used.

Chocolate Chip-Pecan Brown Butter Blondies

 Father’s Day is this Sunday, and I’ve been thinking all day about what I would say about my dad. I mean, I’ve already said a lot–I wrote about him in my first blog post. But he’s such a great guy, I had to give him another. 

My dad is the kind of guy who taught his three daughters how to play golf, throw a baseball, and shoot hoops. But he also did the Father-Kid number at my dance recitals for seven years straight (and once in tights).

He works really hard and is always trying to better himself–intellectually, physically, in his chosen field, in relationships, you name it. His tagline is “Always go forward.” And he means it. Thank goodness that’s the line he uses most frequently–I don’t know how I would have worked “See that? *points to glass* That’s glass,” into this post. 

While my dad has had some success in his life, he is also one of the humblest people I’ve ever met. You can congratulate him on something he’s achieved and, after he thanks you, he’ll immediately turn the conversation to you and what you are achieving. This is something I try to emulate in every interaction I have.

I could go on and on about him, but let me just say this: my dad is a kind, sweet, compassionate, generous person. He has ambition coming out his ears. He loves my mom, his daughters, his friends, and his dog fiercely. If I become half the person he is, I will consider myself the luckiest girl on earth. 

My dad loves chocolate, especially brownies, and he always tops them with pecans that get super toasty while they bake. I’ve already made a pecan-topped brownie recipe on here though, so today, we’re going with blondies. But not just any blondies: Chocolate Chip-Pecan Brown Butter Blondies. They’re super chewy, filled with melty chocolate, and extra nutty from the toasted pecans and brown butter. 

I know my dad would love these and they’re so simple, he might even try to make them. The recipe only has eight ingredients and doesn’t require a mixer. It can be made start-to-finish in about forty minutes! The hardest part is browning the butter, and that takes almost no effort at all. You could make these blondies with regular melted butter and they would be great, but by taking the time to brown it, you add tons of rich, nutty flavor to the finished product. 

Browning butter is mostly letting butter melt over a burner and then letting it continue to cook until it turns a lovely shade of amber. The only real tip I have is not to take your eyes off the pan. Do not step away from the pan, even for a second. Butter can go from brown to burnt in the blink of an eye, and there are few things I hate more than wasting good ingredients.

To brown butter, start by melting a stick of butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Make sure to use a silver or white pan so you can clearly see the butter browning. Once the butter melts, it will start to bubble and crackle. Don’t be alarmed–this is just the water content evaporating. Once the crackling stops, swirl the pan occasionally for 4-7 minutes. You’ll see the milk solids in the butter gradually start to brown. You’ll know your brown butter is ready when you smell the most amazing, deeply nutty, buttery aroma coming from the pan. At this point, turn off the heat and pour the brown butter into a large mixing bowl. That’s it!

Mix your brown butter with brown sugar, an egg, some vanilla, flour, and salt. Fold in some toasted pecans and chocolate chips before spreading the batter into a pan and baking it for 20 minutes. Let the blondies cool to room temperature before slicing and serving. 

If I were going to be anywhere near the great state of Texas this weekend, I’d make these Chocolate Chip-Pecan Brown Butter Blondies and serve them warm with ice cream, just how my dad likes his brownies. They’re fantastic at room temperature too, and perfect for packing into a box to deliver to all the great dads in your life.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddio! 

 Chocolate Chip-Pecan Brown Butter Blondies
makes one 8×8″ pan, about 9-16 blondies

1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with butter, and dust with flour. Set aside.

Toast the pecans. Place pecans on a dry baking sheet. Place in the oven for 4-5 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool completely.

Brown the butter. Place butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Let butter melt. Butter will bubble and crackle as the water content evaporates. Swirl the pan frequently for 4-7 minutes, keeping an eye on the color. When the solids are turning brown and the butter is nutty and fragrant, remove the pot from the heat and immediately pour the brown butter into a large mixing bowl.

Add brown sugar to the brown butter and stir to combine (it will be thick and look like wet sand). Whisk in egg and vanilla. Use a silicone spatula to stir in flour and salt, scraping down the bowl as needed. Stir in chocolate chips and toasted pecans.

Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let blondies cool in the pan on a rack until they reach room temperature. Run a small, thin knife around the edge of the pan to release them (they should be sturdy enough to lift out of the pan in one piece). Slice and serve.

Blondies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Funfetti Cheesecake Platinum Blondies

 How have I made it this far without posting any kind of cheesecake recipe? I love cheesecake. Smooth, rich, creamy, decadent–it’s everything I love in a dessert. And it gets brownie points for being the Golden Girls’ treat of choice. If it’s good enough for Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia, it’s good enough for me.

But for all the things I love about cheesecake, it’s speed of preparation is not one of them. If you’re making a cheesecake today, you’re not going to get to enjoy it until tomorrow. Many recipes require a 24 hour chill after baking and cooling at room temperature. Who really has time for that when it’s not for a special occasion? Definitely not me. But I also refuse to live without cheesecake. My solution? Swirl it into some blondie batter, bake it up, chill, and commence eating in hours, not days. 

I also refuse to live without sprinkles, so today I’m bringing you Funfetti Cheesecake Platinum Blondies. The blondie base is similar to the one I used here, and it can take almost anything I throw at it. Most blondie recipes contain brown sugar, but I use all granulated here–the resulting lighter color is what makes these “platinum.” If you’d like to stick to traditional blondies, you may use all light brown sugar here, but I think Funfetti desserts are best with all granulated. It makes the vanilla flavor shine, and the lighter color means the rainbow sprinkles really pop!

Let’s get to the most important part: the cheesecake. It’s so good here. The creamy, tangy cheesecake is the perfect counter to the sweet, chewy, sugar cookie-like blondie base. The mixture is super simple to make, too. Beat a brick of full-fat cream cheese with an egg yolk and a teaspoon of vanilla. When it’s fluffy, add in two tablespoons of sugar. If you taste this by itself, it won’t seem sweet enough, but trust me–the tanginess will be divine when baked into the sweet blondie batter. 

 Once you’ve made the batter and the cheesecake mixture, it’s time to assemble. Set aside 2/3 cup of the blondie batter, and spread the rest into the bottom of a 9×9″ pan. Drop the cheesecake mixture and reserved batter by the spoonful over the top of the batter in the pan. Use a knife to swirl it all together. I swirled mine a lot (some might say too much). If you want more pronounced swirls, just go back and forth with the knife a few times. Tap the pan on the counter to make sure everything is evenly distributed before baking at 350F for 25-30 minutes. I tented mine with foil after ten minutes to keep everything from browning too quickly. 

 

Once the blondies just barely (and I do mean barely) jiggle in the center when the pan is jostled, they’re done. Let them cool on a rack for an hour before chilling for three hours. Yes, three hours seems like eternity, but it’s nothing compared to the 24 hours you’d wait for a traditional cheesecake! Once everything is good and cold, slice it into bars and serve. 

The Funfetti blondie base and cheesecake are a match made in dessert heaven! These bars are sweet, chewy, dense, creamy, tangy, and full of vanilla flavor. Oh, and look how colorful they are! I mean, who can resist a dessert studded with sprinkles and filled with cheesecake? Not many people I know, that’s for sure. 

Do you love sprinkles as much as I do? Check out these Funfetti Sandwich Cookies and Funfetti Cookie Dough Truffles!

Funfetti Cheesecake Platinum Blondies
makes one 9×9″ pan,* about 12-16 bars

Cheesecake:
8 ounces brick-style full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Blondies:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon imitation butter extract (optional)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles (jimmies)*

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch square pan and line with parchment, leaving overhang for bar-removal. Set aside.

Make the cheesecake. In a medium-large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add sugar, and beat to combine. Mix in egg yolk and vanilla. Set aside.

Make the blondie base. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugar. Mix in eggs, vanilla, and imitation butter extract. Whisk in flour and salt. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in jimmies. Set aside 2/3 cup batter.

Spread the remaining blondie batter in prepared pan. Drop in cheesecake mixture and leftover batter by the spoonful. Use a knife to swirl it all together. Bake 25-30 minutes, tenting with foil if anything starts browning too quickly. Blondies are done when the middle jiggles just barely when the pan is jostled. Let pan cool on a rack at room temperature for one hour. Refrigerate pan for three hours, until cold. Slice into squares and serve.

Funfetti Cheesecake Platinum Blondies will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Notes:

1. An 8×8″ square pan may be used here, but it may affect the bake time.
2. Jimmies are the cylindrical sprinkles, and they are ideal for this recipe. Do not use non-pareils (the little ball-shaped sprinkles)–they will bleed their color and give you an unappetizing purplish batter. Have more questions about sprinkles? I go into more detail here.