Pumpkin brown butter bars
Updated: Oct 3, 2021
I can't believe it's that time of year, but pumpkin is everywhere and I knew I had to start dreaming up some fall recipes. And what could be better than a combination of pumpkin, white chocolate, and brown butter? These bars are inspired by a blondie and have a unique softness to them that only comes with pumpkin desserts.
Other than my dad's pies, one of my favorite pies is from Kelly Fields' The Good Book of Southern Baking. She has a recipe for a pumpkin and roasted white chocolate pie that has to be one of the best pumpkin pies I've ever had or baked. The combination of pumpkin and roasted white chocolate is incredible, and those flavors are very much present in these bars. The chopped white chocolate on top gets nicely toasted in the oven, and plays so well with the brown butter flavor.
If you're like me and you don't go bananas for all things pumpkin spice, these bars are definitely for you. They have just the right amount of pumpkin spice to celebrate fall without being overpowering.
As I mentioned, this recipe is inspired by a blondie though the texture is certainly unique. It has the same dense texture you would look for in a brownie or blondie, with a signature, soft texture from the canned pumpkin.
These bars come together in about 15-20 minutes and are ready to eat in about an hour. They're the perfect treat to share with loved ones during the holidays if you're looking for something low maintenance with perfect fall flavors. They taste incredible fresh out of the oven when the white chocolate is still melty, but they taste great as well out of the fridge or freezer if they aren't going to be eaten right away.
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons, 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
4 oz chopped white chocolate
Total time: About 1 1/2 hours including chill time Prep time: 15-20 minutes Bake time: 23-25 minutes
Cooking instructions: First, brown your butter. Place your butter into a heavy bottom pot or pan (I recommend using something nonstick) on the stovetop on a low to medium heat. After it melts, you'll hear it begin to crackle. Stir or swirl the melted butter in the pan and watch it carefully as it can burn easily. You'll start to smell a nutty aroma (you'll know it when it happens) and at this point your butter will begin to bubble and may foam. Once you see the color turn to a light brown or amber, remove your pan from the heat and transfer your butter and all of the brown bits at the bottom into a large, heat proof bowl.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Into your brown butter, add both sugars and stir to combine using a spatula or large spoon. Once your sugar and butter is fully mixed together, add in your pumpkin and vanilla extract. Continue stirring together for about a minute until your mixture is smooth.
At this point your mixture should be slightly cooled. Add in your egg and stir or whisk everything together, ensuring the egg is completely mixed in. This should take about a minute or two.
Next, add and fold in your dry ingredients, flour, salt, and pumpkin spice. Move carefully here being sure not to over mix. If you do notice any clumps of flour, use a whisk to break up any flour pockets. Line a 9x9in square pan (or you can use an 8x8 pan and increase the cook time a bit) with parchment paper. Add your batter into the lined pan, and use a spatula or flat tool to spread your batter to cover the pan fully and evenly. If you haven't already, chop your white chocolate down to your desired size. Spread your chopped white chocolate over your batter and lightly press it down into your batter.
Place your bars into the oven and bake for 23-25 minutes. Your white chocolate should be lightly golden and your bars should be set in the center. Allow your bars to cool and then slice into squares. I like to do 16 but you could also do 9 larger pieces. Store your bars in an airtight container in the fridge. They will remain fresh for about 4-5 days, and be sure to leave out of the fridge for 15-30 minutes to allow them to come to room temperature before enjoying. If you don't think you'll finish the batch, I recommend placing them into the freezer. You can defrost in the fridge, leave out at room temperature, or even pop into the microwave!
Carb and serving info: Carbs for full recipe: 440 Carbs per serving (1 of 16) : 27 Carbs per serving (1 of 9): 49 Carbs from chocolate: 72
Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.