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Thursday, October 20,2011

White Chocolate Ginger Pumpkin Squares

By Danette Randall

Question of the week:

Are you sick of pumpkin yet?

Hope the answer is no, because this little pumpkin is still rolling out the recipes for you to indulge in. I just can’t stop myself. I am up to my ears in pumpkin purée. The whites of my eyes are orange, which will work out fine for Halloween, or a trip down Pearl Street, but once I leave Boulder, I’m screwed.

So let me put you out of your misery, and fill you in on the treat this week. White Chocolate Ginger Pumpkin Squares. Worth the orange eyes, believe me. I know it’s a long title, but I just had to get all the delicious elements in there. If this dessert doesn’t entice you to bake a pumpkin treat, then I give up. Well, not really. I still have a few more to share, just making idle threats for the fun of it.

The white chocolate is really just the topping, but it adds a hit of flavor that is so smooth. Plus, it pairs perfectly with the ginger and pumpkin.

Ginger is a bit spicy, and the chocolate mellows out the flavor without taking anything away.

I am also using some gingersnaps for the crust, which add a wonderful crunch and texture to the treat. I am using walnuts with the gingersnaps to really make a solid crust — you will love the nuts in the crust. And feel free to use pecans, almonds, etc.

I just love pumpkin and walnuts, so this would be an “all about me” dessert, I guess. Shocking! I also love crystallized ginger over the top of this. This is just an option, as it does get a bit spicy, but help me Rhonda, it is good. I will leave that decision up to you (nice of me).

The center is very similar to a pumpkin pie, with just a few little tweaks to make it a tad different. I think this would be a great dessert for any party. You know how I like those transportable desserts, and this one travels just peachy (or pumpkin-ey).

You, your family and friends will be quite happy with this treat, so gather your grocery list and get to baking.

Now, follow the directions, put some love into it, and invite me over when it’s done.

White Chocolate Ginger Pumpkin Squares

Crust

1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 16 cookies)
1/4 cup walnuts (chopped)
3 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter (cut up)

Filling

1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips (melted)

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper (leave some extra hanging over sides for easy removal).

In food processor or medium bowl, combine crumbs, walnuts and butter, pulse (or mix with fingers in bowl) until mixture starts to bind. Press down into prepared pan, set aside.

In large bowl, mix together pumpkin, whipping cream, brown sugar and maple syrup. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until set. Let cool. Drizzle white chocolate over top of pumpkin dessert, and let set (about 1/2 hour). Firms up nicely in refrigerator.

When ready to serve, pull out of pan. Cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!

Note: Chopped up crystallized ginger, over the top, is great on this treat. Whipped cream is a nice topping, too.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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