What use is having twenty cans of pumpkin sitting on your shelves. All beautifully lined up. Polished until they sparkle just so. If you’re not going to use them.
Such is the question that Sophie posed to me when I kept standing in the kitchen. Marveling at them. Clutching my heart. Beaming with pride.
Sigh. They grow up so fast, don’t they?
But, but, but. I stuttered. But if I USE them, then I won’t HAVE them anymore.
Precisely. She said, throwing her hands up in despair as she walked back into her room.
I have this problem, you see. Whereby I buy things.
Just in case.
Things like six bags of cranberries. Things like 20 cans of pumpkin (they were on SALE people!). Things like ten pounds of winter squash.
Just in case of what exactly I’m not sure.
In case of an apocalypse. In case of a monsoon. In case of it becoming spring before I have a chance to make every single cranberry recipe that my heart desires.
But then when I do find such a recipe, I store it away thinking, yes but I should save that bag in case something comes along that I REALLY want to make. When in fact, the recipe that I have just found IS that recipe. I’m just usually too distracted by my own neuroses to realize it.
And then, this week I had a breakthrough. That breakthrough being that I realized that there are only four days until Halloween. And I have not featured a single pumpkin baked good yet this season.
Doesn’t that seem like a crying shame to you?
So I searched. And searched. And searched. And then I stumbled across these bars on Picky Palate. And well. Given the fact that I had a container of crystallized ginger to use up immediately. (And by “use up” I mean that I had already eaten my way through one container in approximately three days because man that stuff is spicy and painful and sweet and all kinds of addicting. And so I needed to get it out of my life and into the bellies of some unsuspecting individuals. Immediately.)
I was pretty sure this recipe was “the one”.
Also, did I mention that these only call for a quarter stick of butter. Never mind the fact that they have multitudes of white chocolate chips in them. They are practically health food. At least that’s how I advertised them.
The future doctors of America who I gave them to? They totally bought it. Have I mentioned yet that we are actually taught nothing about nutrition in all of med school? Yeah, I’m totally capitalizing on that. Totally.
These taste almost exactly like pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie with crystallized ginger on top. We were doubtful about the ginger. But you shouldn’t be. Because it’s what cuts the sweetness of these luscious bars making your palate jump up and down in excitement. Waking it up from the sugar coma that you are about to induce. When you eat three of them because you just can’t help yourself. Not that I know anything about that…
Pumpkin White Chocolate Chunk and Crystallized Ginger Blondies
Makes 9, adapted from Picky Palate
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp half and half
1. Preheat oven to 350. Melt the butter in the microwave until hot and melted. Stir in 3/4 cup white chocolate chips. Let sit for a minute and then stir until chips are melted. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips. Stir in the melted chocolate/butter mixture.
3. Beat the two eggs in a separate bowl with the 2 tbsp greek yogurt (or sour cream). Pour that into the flour/chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Add in the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Stir until just combined.
4. Pour into a greased, aluminum foil-lined 8×8 baking sheet (or 9×13 if you want to double the recipe). Top with the chopped bits of crystallized ginger. Put in the oven and bake for 28-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5. Allow to cool in the pan. Cut and refrigerate. Refrigeration helps these to take on a more blondie-like texture. Before serving, make the glaze for them. Mix the powdered sugar with the half and half until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over the blondies just before serving.
The deadline for Regional Recipes: GERMANY is Halloween! Please email me your entries!