Pumpkin Cheesecake Blondies
Executive Pastry Chef Andrea Upchurch
Pastry Chef Andrea Upchurch of Blossom in Charleston gives blondies a seasonal twist by adding pumpkin spice to the batter and pumpkin puree to the cream cheese layer. At the restaurant, they are served with ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, but without those extras, the bars make a sweet handheld treat to pass at a holiday party.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
8 oz. light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 sticks (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling
6 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 oz. butter
1 pinch salt
1 tsp. vanilla paste
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
Spiced pumpkin ice cream
Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease 9x13-inch baking pan.
2. For blondie batter: In mixing bowl, sift flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda and salt together. Beat eggs with whip attachment, gradually adding sugar, until eggs are thick and fluffy. Slowly add vanilla and melted butter. On low speed, slowly blend in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in white chocolate chips.
3. For pumpkin cream cheese filling: In separate mixing bowl, sift flour, cinnamon and powdered sugar together. Beat cream cheese with sugar mixture until well blended. Add pumpkin puree and mix until well blended, scraping down sides and mixomg until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each and scraping bowl throughout process. Beat in vanilla and salt. Set mixture aside.
4. For caramel sauce: In heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, salt, vanilla paste and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is thick and bubbly. Slowly add cream in small amounts, stirring constantly. Return mixture to boil and whisk until completely smooth. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
5. Evenly spoon blondie batter into greased baking pan. Put cream cheese filling into piping bag and pipe thick lines on top of batter. Use skewer or butter knife to pull through piped lines back and forth. Bake blondies for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
6. Serve warm, with spiced pumpkin ice cream, toasted pumpkin seeds and caramel sauce.