If you’ve got a hankering for pumpkin spice desserts, you’re in luck. Pecan Brickle Pumpkin Blondies are an easy, reliable, crowd-pleasing pumpkin spice recipe with real pumpkin in the batter and homemade pumpkin pie spice along with bits of toffee brickle and crispy toasted pecans for the perfect crunch.
My husband, Scott is pretty good eater and he’s always happy to sample and taste-test anything I’m cooking, however, pumpkin is where he draws the line. I know — who doesn’t like pumpkin??? Well, Scott — that’s who. I made these pumpkin spice bars despite my husband’s staunch and fervent dislike of this universal fall favorite. While he wasn’t looking, my daughter Emily and I tested and retested this pumpkin blondie recipe — and made enough pumpkin spice bars to feed an army — and then some.
Should You or Shouldn’t You Make Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice?
Yes, they sell pumpkin pie spice already pre-assembled and if you’re not a big baker or if you don’t happen to have one entire drawer devoted to herbs and spices, feel free to buy a little jar from the spice aisle. Frankly, I DO have a drawer dedicated to spices and even I almost succumbed to buying the premade stuff, but then I turned the jar over and looked at the ingredients and realized that I had every one of them already in my spice cabinet. Why would I buy another jar, when I could mix up my own at home, right?
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice.
That’s it. If you’ve got these four spices, save yourself $4 and assemble this homemade pumpkin pie spice in about 2 minutes. See? Easy.
The batter for these pumpkin blondies is pretty standard — brown sugar, flour, pumpkin spice, eggs, pumpkin, butter — yeah — a lot of butter. In my defense, this recipe makes a half sheet pan full of blondies, otherwise known as a metric ton.
You can use whatever mix-ins you like, but I’m partial to pecans and I love brickle chips. If you’ve never heard of brickle before, you probably know them by another name, toffee, — as in Heath Bars, which happen to be an achilles heel of mine. Heath sells “Bits o’ Brickle” next to the chocolate chips in my grocery store. You’re gonna want to check them out!
Topping The Pumpkin Spice Bars
Save a few extra toasted nuts and brickle chips for decorating the top of these blondies (I also like to add a sprinkle of salt to enhance the flavors) and then bake them off in the oven. Holy comfort food aromas — the smells from the homemade pumpkin pie spice and baking pumpkin blondies is off the charts — and it lingers for a good long time. After baking, I left the pumpkin spice bars on the counter to cool and when I came back two hours later, the house STILL smelled like fall.
Cool the pumpkin spice bars and then cut them into bars or squares or whatever you feel is appropriate for the eaters in your house. For us, 2″ x 2″ squares seemed about right, but if you’ve got a bigger appetite, 3″ x 3″ should do it.
Good luck trying to resist Pecan Brickle Pumpkin Blondies once they’re within arms reach. This pumpkin spice bar recipe with its homemade pumpkin pie spice is completely addictive. Not only did Emily and I enjoy them, Emily’s friends went gaga over them and even “I don’t like pumpkin Scott”, snuck a few for himself. Come on, you knew he would…
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Pumpkin Brickle Blondies
FOR PUMPKIN SPICE BARS
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 pound butter (3 sticks) softened to room temperature)
- 3 3/4 cups light brown sugar firmly packed
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup pure pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
- 6 ounces pecans divided
- 8 ounces toffee or brickle chips (I used Heath) divided
FOR HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PIE SPICE:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly spray a half sheet pan (17 x 12 x 1") with vegetable spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside.
- While pecans are toasting, making the blondie batter. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, combine the softened butter and brown sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy, then add eggs one at a time. Beat the eggs thoroughly into the butter mixture before adding the next egg.
- Add the pumpkin and vanilla to the butter mixture and beat until well combined.
- Beat in the pumpkin pie spice to the butter mixture, then add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just incorporated. Continue in this fashion until all the flour is blended with butter mix.
- Chop the toasted pecans and reserve about 1/3 cup for the top of the blondies. Add the remaining pecans to the batter. Stir in the brickle chips (reserving 1/3 cup for the top of the blondies).
- Transfer the pumpkin blondie batter to the prepared half sheet pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth the batter evenly across the pan. Sprinkle with reserved pecans and brickle chips.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the blondies for an hour before cutting them.
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