Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching.

Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

This year I have been thinking about pumpkin desserts that are not your standard pie or bread.  Don’t get me wrong, those desserts are all wonderful and I will be having at least one of them on our holiday table, but this year I wanted to shake things up.  I am helping my mom with her dinner on Thanksgiving Day, and then the next day I will be going out to my in-laws for a second Thanksgiving dinner.  Where my mom is full-on traditional turkey feast my mother-in-law is not.  Part of that is her immigrant heritage, she is originally from Taiwan, and the other part is her individual taste.  She is not a fan of turkey, dressing, or plain old pumpkin pie.  In a way these bars were inspired by her.  They have an element of tradition dressed up in a fun new way!

Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

I decided to go with a blondie because they are a particular favorite of mine, and they are great for sharing, giving, and transporting.  For extra flavor, and because I like then so much, I added some mashed bananas.  They provide extra sweetness, flavor, and a lot of moisture.  I also added some dark chocolate chips and dried cranberries.  The former because I am always looking to add more chocolate to my life, the latter because they are seasonal and they add a little refreshing tangy sweetness to these bars.  That little tangy bite keeps these blondies from feeling too heavy.  This recipe shakes, rattles, and rolls tradition in the best possible way!

Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies     Yield 18 bars

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 ripe medium banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dry cranberries
Powdered sugar, for decorating

Heat the oven top 350 F and spray a 9 x 13- inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip BlondiesPumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, but not fluffy.  Add the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time until well combined.  Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat until lighter in color, about two minutes.

Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

Add the banana and pumpkin and mix until blended.  The mixture may look broken at this point, but that is ok.

Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip BlondiesPumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix until just combined then add the chocolate chips and dry cranberries and fold in.

Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip BlondiesPumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center of the blondies feels firm when gently pressed and the top is golden brown.  Cool completely in the pan before slicing, about 1 hour.

Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

Dust the bars with powdered sugar, if desired, and enjoy!

Pumpkin Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

© 2011, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • So many antioxidants in these, they must be healthy! Perfect for the Fall & Thanksgiving!

  • They look fantastic Kelly!! Yum!!

  • I admit when I saw the name I was a bit jealous…I have been the queen of long titles and there was some fear that you were going to take my crown.

    But I’m OK with that if it’s you. I had to wrap my arms around the plethora of ingredients but I went from each one going…OK, I can see that and after that process can just imagine that they are a moist and delicious representation of the season. With some chocolate chips! Nice job.

  • These look wonderful. I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie even though I love every thing else pumpkin. The blondies look like the perfect substitute for me.

  • These blondies will for sure spice up the usual pumpkin desserts! Such a great idea. They look amazing and your photos are so beautiful!

  • These have to be the most beautiful blondies I’ve ever seen.
    I wish I could taste one like, this instant!! Jackie

  • What a lovely array of flavors you have packed into these little bars-yum. Very creative recipe here and stunning photos. Definitely something worth trying. Great post.

  • Oh yes I love the sound of these. The photos are making me hungry for some! Please send a box. =)

  • Whoa cool combination!! & when you throw cranberries into the mix I am all yours or better those blondies be mine! Did you say they transport well?! 🙂

  • I love the flavor combo in these – the texture of them looks divine, too!

  • Your mother-in-law is going to be blown away with these blondies!

  • Looks very yummy!!!

  • Awww.. that is so sweet! I love all the flavors in these bars and I never would have considered combining them – another one of those “why didn’t I think of that moments” – which I’ve been have a lot of recently!!

  • Kelly, These are some serious blondies! The multi-faceted flavor profiles have me smitten and the photos keep drawing me back…Brava!

  • Ann

    These are FANTASTIC! Not only do they sound amazing, but your pictures are incredible! I’d say you’ve certainly made a unique and delicious pumpkin dessert!

  • Girl! These are amazing and I love that you came up with a twist on tradition for your MIL ;D

  • These look fantastic!!
    Wonderful pictures and such a good flavor combo.
    Can’t wait to try making this.

  • Oh my gosh. I love these! Evil Shenanigans indeed. That’s a lot of recipe love in one name… it’s also really cool that you mixed banana into blondie brownies. Now I can sell these to my blondie-hating friends as banana bars.

  • I have to make these! They are so beautiful just sitting on the plate, can’t imagine how great they are with a bite on your fork! Healthy & totally unique, may just have to make them today & hide the evidence.

  • These look amazing… Love the combination of flavors. I need to make some of these to snack on while I’m getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner!

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  • Lauren Ashley

    All of my senses are telling me that I must make these and that they are amazing, but I’m facing a dilemma. I have a ton of fresh cranberries and zero dried. I want to make these for tomorrow, so drying is not really an option. Any suggestions for substituting fresh for dried cranberries?!! Thanks!

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