Pumpkin Chai Blondies with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
For the blondies:
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 c. pumpkin puree
1 TBSP pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. freshly-grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. toasted chopped pecans
1/4 c. crystallized ginger, finely chopped
For the frosting:
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan (preferably with square corners) with foil or parchment so you have an overhang on all four sides. Spray with baking spray.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about three minutes.
3. Decrease speed to medium and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla, beating until combined.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
5. Add dry mixture to butter mixture, mixing only until combined. (Batter will be quite thick.) Stir in pecans.
6. Spoon batter into prepared baking pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. (The bars should be fulled cooked on the bottom and have a slightly undercooked texture near the top.) Place on top of a wire rack and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then lift out of pan and allow to cool completely.
7. To make the frosting, combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat on high speed until fluffy, about two minutes.
8. Frost blondies when they are completely cooled and top with crytallized ginger. Cut into 20-30 bars, depending on desired portion size. Store in a airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Pairs Well With
These blondies are dense and chewy and pumpkinny-spicy-good. Not just good, but goo-ood. The kind of good that immediately transports you to a crisp fall day, when you're wearing your favorite jeans and sweatshirt, and sitting all wrapped up in a blanket with your honey.