With Thanksgiving coming up, pumpkin is Miss Congeniality – the ingredient of the day for everything from cakes to loaves to pies. It turns out dark chocolate and pumpkin is a perfect combo – especially in dense, moist brownies topped with a rich, subtly spiced pumpkin batter. Swirling the two together makes a great effect, requiring only a few seconds and the tip of a knife. Try serving these warm, with ice cream, in place of pie.
This is a Martha recipe that made the rounds of a few other of my favourite food blogs — and so I took it as a sign. I you wind up with an extra cup of leftover pumpkin puree, these brownies will put it to good use. They freeze well, so you could bake two and stash one away for festive emergencies down the road. (Or just nibble on them straight from the freezer — frozen brownies are the best.)
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
1/2 cup butter
6 oz (6 squares) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or 1 cup chocolate chips)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F and butter an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch baking pan.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla for a few minutes, until fluffy; beat in the flour just until combined.
Divide the batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl) and stir the chocolate mixture into one bowl. Stir the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg into the other bowl. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan, smooth the top and gently spread with half the pumpkin batter. Drop large spoonfuls of chocolate and pumpkin batter on top, then gently swirl the two batters with the tip of a knife (just a table knife, so you don’t scrape the bottom of the pan with a sharp tip) to create a marbled effect.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until just set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Makes 16 brownies.