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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pumpkin Caramel Sea Salt Blondies

Pumpkin Caramel Sea Salt Blondies
Welcome to the November edition of Blogger CLUE Society! As you may have seen in the past, we have a monthly theme to aid us in the hunt of our assigned blog, and this month's theme is Pie and other Thanksgiving Desserts. This suited me just fine since I am featuring Thanksgiving recipes daily leading up to the big meal this year!

Of course I went in all psyched up to find a new recipe that would fit in amongst our yearly pie know about my deep love of pie, right? Well, sometimes we have to adapt...annaDishes was my assigned blog for this month—and she doesn't have any pie recipes on her blog! After the nervous sweats died down (what, no pie!?), I went hunting again...with a fresh perspective.

Although pie is first and foremost in my choices of Thansgiving dessert, lately I've been opening my mind to the possibility of another dessert (or two) alongside the pie. I thought about making Anna's Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies or maybe her Grammy's Hermits, but in the end it was her Maple Caramel Sea Salt Blondies that won my heart.
Pumpkin Caramel Sea Salt Blondies
Yes, I know I said maple, not pumpkin. And I went in with the full intention of making them with maple syrup until I realized there was only about a teaspoon of maple syrup in the bottom of my bottle...after I'd already started mixing things together. Doh! So I improvised and swapped one seasonal flavor for another.

I have to admit, they were pretty wonderful; they would definitely hold their own in any holiday dessert spread. As soon as I replenish my maple syrup stock, I'll be making Anna's original version, as well.

Pumpkin Caramel Sea Salt Blondies
Pockets of caramel and chocolate complement the rich taste of brown sugar mingling with seasonal pumpkin in these blondies that are special enough to earn a place at your holiday table.
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Pumpkin Caramel Sea Salt Blondies
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert vegetarian nut-free pumpkin caramel chocolate Thanksgiving bars American fall

Ingredients (9 large or 16 small blondies)
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons / 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (or 1/2 teaspoon flaked or coarse sea salt)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, or dark)
  • 8 soft caramels, quartered (~2 1/2 ounces or a heaping 1/4 cup)
to finish:
  • flaked or coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8"x8" baking pan (then line with parchment paper if you wish).

Combine melted butter and sugar and mix until smooth, then beat in the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the flour and salt until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and caramel pieces.

Pour into prepared pan, then slide into preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. Set the pan on a wire rack, sprinkle with coarse of flaked sea salt, then allow to cool.

If you'd like, try topping your cooled blondies with some chocolate or caramel icing/frosting before sprinkling on the sea salt.

Anna's original recipe used maple syrup instead of pumpkin, which I can't wait to try. She also used milk chocolate chips which I has every intention of using, as well...until I realized that somebody had raided the pantry and there were none to be found (they would be equally wonderful here). Anna also topped hers in melted milk chocolate chips before sprinkling on the salt.
The blogger C.L.U.E (Cook, Learn, Undertake, Eat) Society meets every month in a game of mystery, intrigue, and fun! We are given a theme and secretly assigned another member's blog; our mission is to hunt through our assigned blog to find a recipe that fits the theme through our eyes. We then head into the kitchen and recreate the recipe and post together on reveal day!

I'm a lifelong mystery-lover, my favorite board game is CLUE, and I'm a believer that there's no better way to get to know somebody than through food—is there any doubt that I enjoy this event!?

Today is reveal day, and this month's theme is: Pie and Other Thanksgiving Desserts. Join me in reading about the food hunted down this month in the #bloggerCLUE member's kitchens!

Pumpkin Caramel Sea Salt Blondies