Blondie with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
We're very fond of brownies but we love blondies even more. Sunny's school makes the best blondies. She's enrolled in the after-school cooking class, and the chef taught the kids how to make blondies. Naturally Sunny brought some home. They were so good that we decided to make a batch and covered them with pumpkin cream cheese frosting for Halloween.
If great blondies aren't reason enough to make this recipe, then getting to lick the leftover frosting should convince you. Of course, I didn't get to because the girls beat me to it...
Yields: 24 squares4 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
44 tablespoons unsalted butter (5-1/2 sticks), softened to room temperature, + extra for greasing the molds
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1-1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon anise extract
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove, ground into fine powder
1/3 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup Halloween sprinkle toppings
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs for about 5-6 minutes. You'll get a pale yellow foam and the texture of the egg yolk will be thicker. Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon extract.
In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Sift all the dry ingredients.
Cream 4 sticks of butter (32 tablespoons) with the remaining brown sugar (whisk using a standmixer to get as much air as possible in the butter). Add the egg mixture and the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Divide the batter into 8 mini (6" x 3") non-stick rectangular molds that were previously greased with butter and bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 375°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 24-28 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.
While the blondies are cooling, in a bowl combine powdered sugar, cream cheese, emaining (1-1/2 sticks) butter, the remaining (1/2 teaspoon) cinnamon extract, anise extract, powdered clove, ground ginger and pumpkin purée. Use a standmixer so you'll get a more even texture. Add the cream cheese and beat for another 2 minutes until the texture is smooth and creamy.
Frost the blondies with the pumpkin cream cheese frosting, then top with the Halloween sprinkles. Let stand for about 30 minutes. Divide each rectangle into thirds.
Serve with a nice hot tea or a green drink.
Trick or treat? Kids will love it!
Sifting dry ingredients helps get rid of nasty lumps of flour and also to aerate the mixture when liquid is added. It's very important for all of your baking so you get a moist result.
FYI: 1 cup of butter = 16 tablespoons = 2 sticks of butter.
I know it's a lot of butter but don't forget you're making 24 squares.
To guarantee quality baked goods, use the best butter you can find.
I use McCormick cinnamon and anise extracts. If you don't have any, you can use star anise seeds. Dry roast them and grind them finely in a mortar and pestle and do the same with cinnamon sticks.
I used mini non-stick rectangular pans for an even, homogenous blondie and a faster baking time. If you decide to bake the cake in a larger cake pan, extend the cooking time by at least 10 to 15 more minutes.October 28, 2009.