I have a huge sweet tooth and I’m always trying out new recipes that are a little healthier without sacrificing the taste. This square is sweet, rich and delicious and the taste was not compromised at all with the decrease of oil and sugar. Pumpkin puree is a great substitute when baking and can replace half the oil in recipes, as in this one.

Last year, in the span of one week, I made this recipe 3 times! Twice to bring to friends when we were invited for dinner and once at a cooking class I gave. They were a huge hit each time! Don’t be fooled by the healthy addition of the pumpkin puree – my husband Charles and son Mark loved them, even when I confessed that it was made with love and a ‘special’ ingredient! I seriously had to hide the leftovers from Charles!

Pumpkin puree is sold in cans, or you can make it fresh and you can freeze the remaining in 1/2 cup portions to use for another time. But trust me, after one bite of these delicious squares, you may want to make more to have on hand for company!!

I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever substituted pumpkin puree for oil in any recipes?
Please feel free to share your ideas and tips in the comments below:)

Chewy Pumpkin Blondies
Yields 24-36 pieces (depending on how big you cut the squares!)

Ingredients:
• 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup spelt, but just whole wheat is great too!)
• 1/4 cup rolled oats (I used the smaller oat flakes)
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. allspice
• 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup canned or pureed pumpkin (not pie filling!)
• 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325° degrees and set the rack in the middle of the oven. Line the bottom of a rectangular pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using a fork, mix together the flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, spices and both the semi sweet chocolate and butterscotch chips. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract and honey, until smooth. . Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix well, just until the flour disappears. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and using your fingertips, smooth until the dough is evenly distributed and meets the edges.

Bake for 25 minutes on the middle rack. Touch the middle of the squares – it will be soft to the touch and will still look undercooked when you take them out. Let cool and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cutting them into squares.

Enjoy!

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