Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

It’s that time of year – break out the cans of pumpkin and be prepared for the onslaught of fall-themed recipes!

And here at The Brownie Project, I’m not immune to the allure of these tempting treats:

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Sadly, they look better than they taste. The brownie part was good, but the pumpkin filling was rubbery and lacking in flavor. If I was to attempt these again, I would double the amount of spices – but that doesn’t solve the rubbery texture of the filling. Not sure how or why that happened – because I certainly wasn’t too rambunctious with the mixing, which can certainly contribute to the unappealing texture.

Anyways, I like the idea of pumpkin and chocolate, so I’m just going to have to try a different recipe.

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies – adapted from Martha Stewart

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.
Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. Into the other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don’t set.
With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect.
Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.


Ghost Brownie Pops for Halloween

To kick off the month of October, I wanted to make something special for The Brownie Project.

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Unfortunately, I was attacked while I was in the middle of photographing my recent creation:

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Cute, aren’t they? I wish I could say this was my idea, but I saw similar pops in the new Williams Sonoma catalog – so I just improvised and came up with my own way of making them.

I used a new brownie recipe that I found on Epicurious.com – and after the batter was baked and cooled, I crumbled it up:

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Mashed it into a ball:

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Chill them for several hours, then put a stick through the top:

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Dip them into white chocolate coating, and after it has set (keep them in the refrigerator!), add facial features with black sparkle gel.

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Ready for Halloween!

The brownies, by themselves, were very good. If you bake them for the shorter time, they are very fudgey and gooey, with good chocolate  flavor. The slightly underbaked texture helped keep the brownies together, so I would suggest not baking them to the cake-like stage if you want to form them into pops.

Brownies – adapted from Epicurious.com

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (2 inches deep) and line bottom and sides with wax paper, then butter paper.

Melt butter and chocolate in a medium sized bowl in the microwave for 1minute on high power – stir mixture until smooth, heating again in 10 second increments if necessary to melt chocolate completely.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

Whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl, then pour in chocolate mixture, whisking until combined well. Whisk in flour mixture, and transfer batter to baking pan.

Bake until top is shiny and set and sides have begun to pull away slightly (a wooden pick or skewer will not come out clean), about 35 minutes, for fudgey brownies; or until wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour total, for cakey brownies.

Cool brownies completely in pan on a rack. Invert onto a cutting board, remove paper, and cut into squares. Yield – 16 brownies