Pumpkin Spice Latte Blondies

Last week was a loooong week, but now the countdown to my week long vacation in Italy is 4 days!!!! Can’t wait! I haven’t had a vacation since being home in FL at Christmas so this is some long overdue time off from work! Since we will surely not have any pumpkin while we’re there, this week has contained lots of pumpkin! I got home yesterday from work and had about an hour to kill before my roomie and a friend and I were meeting for dinner (we had pizza and wine — and no, I don’t get tired of those things so this was just a chance to prepare my mind and palate for what I hope is LOTS of pizza and wine all week long in Italy 🙂 oh, and gelato. And cannolis. Mmmmm. So, I got home, debated for a second whether I should go for a quick run and then be back in time for a quick shower, or if I wanted to try tossing together some quick pumpkin blondies I’d felt inspired by earlier. Since I really get unmotivated about unnecessary showering because I hate blow drying my hair without good reason, I opted for brownie making. 🙂 I also saw this as a great opportunity to bust out my pumpkin spice M&M’s and bake them into something.

I doubled the recipe and divided the batter into 2 8×8 pans. 1 pan got the white chocolate chips, the other got the M&M’s. I loved them both ways, but I did feel like I noticed the coffee hints in the white chocolate ones while the M&M one tasted just pumpkin spice-y. Both awesome, just different flavors. Thank goodness I can just keep having one of each so I don’t have to pick favorites!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Blondies
(I think this originally came from a Martha Stewart recipe, but lacking the latte)

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour (or use a blend of white wheat and regular)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2-3 tsp of a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Via packet (or use instant coffee/espresso)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or if you are trying to unhealthify these, use a full stick of butter and ignore the applesauce)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/2 cup white chocolate chips or M&M’s or whatever you desire!

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8×8 pan with aluminum foil, then spray lined pan with cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, whisk flour, spice, soda, salt, and coffee with a whisk until combined.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), cream butter. Add applesauce and mix until combined. Next, add sugar and beat until smooth. Then add egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add pumpkin and continue to mix.
4. Slowly on low speed, add dry ingredients to wet mixture.
5. Add in white chocolate chips.
6. Spread into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy!!

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