Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies
During my recent trip to California, I had the opportunity to see some Fall leaves, something I just don’t get the chance to do in South Florida. These beautifully colored leaves reminded me that there are places in the world that actually do get to see Autumn and the changing colors.
Once I got back home, I walked into Whole Foods to see rows and rows of pumpkins lined up. It is a tad too early for me to buy our pumpkin for Halloween, because the Florida heat tends to ruin it well in advance of the holiday, itself; but it is never too early to bake with pumpkin.
I started thinking about the various combinations that work well with pumpkin — ginger, cinnamon and chocolate to name a few. I have a Pumpkin Cheesecake that I love baking, but I wanted to try something new.
I decided on a chocolate brownie base that is topped with a pumpkin/cinnamon/ginger/cream cheese layer on top. I then take a large spoon and swirl/fold the two layers into each other without completely blending them together.
The kitchen smelled just like a fall day should, sugar and spice and everything nice. The taste is yummy warm, but after eating the Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies cold, I realized that this is truly the way they should be served.
If I could ignore the 90° weather, I could almost imagine that Autumn has arrived. Not that I would trade my yearlong gorgeous weather for anything evenly closely resembling the Cleveland winters with which I grew up; especially since I can whip up my imaginary Autumn in my kitchen anytime I want. You can, too.
|Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies|| || |
- Pumpkin layer:
- 16 ounces (1 pound) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 7½ ounces pumpkin puree
- Brownie layer:
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- confectioners sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 325°. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- For the pumpkin layer:
- Place cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat for three minutes until creamy, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add egg and egg yolk, followed by cinnamon and ginger. Lastly, blend in pumpkin puree. Set aside until needed.
- For the brownie layer:
- Microwave butter and unsweetened chocolate together in a microwaveable bowl until melted. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
- Beat eggs and sugar together. Add ½ of butter/chocolate mixture, followed by ½ of dry ingredients. Continue until all of the butter/chocolate and dry ingredients are blended in, scraping the bowl down in between additions. Add vanilla.
- Transfer the brownie layer to the parchment lined baking pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread it around. This will not be a thick layer.
- Evenly pour the pumpkin layer over the brownie layer. Use a spoon to gently fold and swirl the two layers, being careful not to blend them together.
- Bake on the middle rack in a 325° oven for 45 minutes. Cool completely on cooling rack. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting.
- Lift parchment paper out of pan and transfer to a cutting board. Dust with confectioners sugar. Cut into individual brownies.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- I buy a 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree and eyeball ½ of the can.
- As the layers are folded and swirled, rather than blended, the brownies will look a bit different each time you bake them. The overall look is similar.