As you know, I love to experiment with gluten free baking for my friend Vanessa. Tomorrow, she’s coming over with some other girlfriends and we’re having fondue. For our chocolate course, we chose a Mexican chocolate fondue, spiked with coffee, cinnamon, and chili. I thought about the things I like to dip in fondue, aside from fruit: brownies, chunks of pound cake, cookies, pretzels, grahame crackers – unfortunately, none of these things are suitable for someone on a gluten free diet. Knowing that Vanessa is just as much a pumpkin head as me, and how well pumpkin compliments chocolate, I thought, why not a pumpkin blondie of sorts? Something denser and less cakey than a typical pumpkin cookie or bar, and not as crumbly as pumpkin bread. Something moist that would hold together and carry a rich, spiced chocolate coating. The pumpkin blondies I came up with fit the bill. They light yet a little fudgey, with a distinct pumpkin flavor that is not too rich. As an added bonus, they’re healthier than a normal blondie, since pumpkin replaces about half the butter in a typical recipes. For this purpose, I wanted to keep them somewhat simple, since our fondue is going to have so much flavor going on, but you could easily spice them up with additional seasoning, chocolate chips or nuts. I cut the the blondies into bite-size pieces, perfect for stabbing with a fork and dunking. I can’t wait for my friends to try them!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Blondies
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup gluten-free AP flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill
Preheat oven to 350F and coat an 8×8″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Beat together butter and sugar over medium speed until well blended, then beat in egg until creamy. Add pumpkin and vanilla and continue mixing until fully blended. Add salt and cinnamon, and mix in flour gradually, until combined. Batter will be somewhat thick. Spread into prepared pan and bake for about 27 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.