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Churro Pumpkin Pie Blondies

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Churro Pumpkin Pie Blondies

The fall is my favorite time of the year for baking. I love the classics – pumpkin pie, oatmeal cookies and pecan anything – but I also love the opportunity to come up with fun new treats that make use of some of those classic flavors. These Churro Pumpkin Pie Blondies are part blondie and part pumpkin pie, and they will be a delicious addition to your fall baking lineup.

The bars are made with two different batters, a blondie batter and a pumpkin batter. The pumpkin layer is inspired by pumpkin pie, but is not the same as your typically pumpkin pie filling. The filling used in pumpkin pie is a custard that is fairly liquid before baking, which works great with a crispy pie crust but not with a chewy blondie base. So, the pumpkin pie layer is actually a cross between a traditional pie filling and a blondie, with more flour than you would find in a typical pumpkin pie recipe (which often contains no flour). In the end, this means that the pumpkin layer is packed with pumpkin flavor, but has a chewy texture that is similar to that of the classic vanilla blondie underneath it.

Cinnamon sugar – and lots of it – is what gives this bar cookie a sweet churro twist. There is a generous layer of cinnamon sugar on top of the bars, as well as between the blondie and pumpin pie layers.  I also dusted the pan with cinnamon before adding the blondie batter, which gives even the base of the bars an extra pop of cinnamon. The cinnamon really stands out from the pumpkin pie spice in the batter, too.

These bars are best within about two days of baking and can be stored at room temperature, although they are also quite tasty when they are chilled. I serve them as-is, but you could turn them into a plated dessert by adding a scoop of ice cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce to each serving.

Churro Pumpkin Pie Blondies
Blondie Layer + Topping
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar + 2 tsp ground cinnamon
more cinnamon, for dusting the pan

Pumpkin Layer
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 9×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the pan and dust the bottom with ground cinnamon.
Make the blondie layer: In a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Allow butter to cool for 2 minutes, then whisk in the sugar, egg, salt and vanilla extract. Once those ingredients are well-combined, stir in the flour using a whisk or spatula.
Pour batter – it will be thick – into prepared baking dish and smooth it into an even layer using a spatula.
Combine sugar and ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle half of the mixture evenly over the top of the blondie layer.

Make the pumpkin layer: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, vanilla and eggs, then whisk in the sugars an pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree until well-combined. Stir in half of the flour, along with the baking powder and salt. Stir in remaining flour and mix until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Pour mixture over blondie base, then sprinkle evenly with remaining cinnamon-sugar topping.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until bars are set and the edges are lightly browned on top.
Cool completely in the pan before lifting the bars out using the aluminum foil and slicing.

Makes 20 bars.

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