Pumpkin Bumpkin

6 Sep

In celebration of Labor Day weekend and Fall and our good friend Matt’s hosting of a board game night (Arkham Horror!), I decided to make a delicious treat to bring for everyone! I’ve had this one open in a tab for freaking ever, and have just been WAITING for the perfect opportunity to make it (and, plus, now that this is out of the way, I can finally start working slowly through all the amazing new concoctions I’ve found through Pinterest…).

These are AMAZING. SO delicious, even with what seems like a massive change to recipe that I had to make. I searched online to see if Pumpkin Puree and Pumpkin Pie Mix were interchangeable in recipes. Among some largely mixed reactions, I felt people were leaning towards “NO WAY NO DON’T DO IT DON’T EVER SUBSTITUTE MIX FOR PUREE.” I scoured the supermarkets but I couldn’t find any Pumpkin puree in the stores here just yet; I was lucky enough to find even the Pumpkin pie mix at one (and only one) Safeway near me. Therefore, I used 1 cup of canned Pumpkin Pie mix in place of the puree the recipe calls for, and added just a dash of the pumpkin pie spice (since canned pumpkin pie mix is already spiced). I also just felt like these needed some frosting, so I made my own Cinnamon Vanilla frosting to drizzle on top! It compliments these SO well! They are the perfect fall treat!!

Here is my VERY own:

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Blondie Cake
(Adapted from Sing for your Supper)

What you need:

  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Caramel Sauce
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • Dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt, divided
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 1 1/4 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 large Egg
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup canned Pumpkin Pie Mix (whereas the original recipe calls for Pumpkin Puree)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Butter a 9×9-inch baking dish.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.  Stir together and set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.  Mix in the pumpkin puree.  With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.

3. Pour half of the batter in the prepared pan and smooth out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle the caramel in an even layer and sprinkle with the other 1/2 teaspoon of salt (feel free to leave the salt out if you’re not a fan of salted caramel). Carefully drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the caramel and smooth out as best you can (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden brown.

4. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Makes around 9 squares. Taste, and see if you want to add the icing or not.

What you need for the icing (original recipe from here):

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (I used 1 unsalted + 2 salted sticks, because that was all I had! Still worked.)
  • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Directions:

1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.
3. Add vanilla and cinnamon, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

I was on a time crunch when it came to making the icing, so I did not sift the powdered sugar or even add it in the exact increments prescribed by the recipe. I PROBABLY didn’t aerate it as much as it said to because of that, and therefore, while it was still fluffy, it probably wasn’t as fluffy as the recipe intended it to be. To that, my husband only had this gem to say: “Who cares about sifting it, it’s sugar, just get that shit in there!!!” He thought the icing tasted AMAZING.

I also ended up having to use 2 sticks of salted butter (rather than unsalted, which is what the recipe called for), but it was still AMAZING. This icing was the PERFECT compliment to the pumpkin flavor, as the amount of cinnamon present adds a subtle but nice kick of extra spice – just the right amount!

I could see this recipe being too sweet for some, though, if you are sensitive to too much sugar (which I think is mostly fault of the icing), but everyone who had this cake said that it was phenomenal, so I think it worked out well! My first big baking experiment: great success! And Arkham Horror was a super fun board game to boot! Highly recommend playing it, especially with a good group of hilarious friends!

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