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Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

October 5, 2008

img_7194The recipe comes from Martha Stewart’s website, and sounded fun.

It was fun to make – messy as hell, but fun – and they’re really good, so I’m sharing it with you. And if I could email some out to you, I would. Believe me, I don’t need them all sitting in the kitchen.

(Makes 16) I used a 9 X 13 pan, and it made many more than 16

1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used half a bag of chocolate chips because I am lazy)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
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
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts (I left them out)


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, cayenne, 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. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. (I also threw in 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice on the recommendation of someone in the comments section of the recipe page) 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. (I forgot to do this) Sprinkle with nuts. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

Actual results:

No disrespect to Martha, but if I had it to do over again, I would leave out the cayenne (which I had grave doubts about in the first place; my feelings are that heat has no place in dessert) and add the whole bag of chocolate chips. As is, the recipe is quite spicy, but not quite chocolatey enough for me. Otherwise nice, though – good texture and pumpkin flavor.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Vintage Roadside permalink
    October 5, 2008 5:33 am

    They look fantastic! Thanks for taking one for the team and trying them:-)

  2. Max the drunken severed head permalink
    October 5, 2008 3:31 pm

    You are the only Halloween-celebrating blog to actually make my mouth water!

  3. SkipFish Music permalink
    October 5, 2008 6:18 pm

    Far be it from me to intrude, but…I simply thought I would toss out a few modest suggestions for your continued “spooky” soundtrack. Perhaps they might fit along some of the fantastic images set to come.

    1. Grindhouse (Main Theme)-Robert Rodriguez
    2. Wicked Old Witch- John Fogerty (to complement the previous entry)
    3. The Dead Next Door-Billy Idol
    4. Ghost Of A Texas Ladies’ Man/Bloodletting-Concrete Blonde
    5. Tubular Bells-Mike Oldfield

    Just a thought…Good vibes…

  4. Dane permalink
    October 5, 2008 7:27 pm

    Hahaha, Vintage, you're welcome. 🙂

    Why, thank you, Max!

    Todd –
    >Grindhouse (Main Theme)-Robert Rodriguez

    I downloaded this last month at someone's suggestion and was underwhelmed.

    The next three, I don't have … maybe you could post a download link here for everyone to use if you have them?

    >Tubular Bells-Mike Oldfield

    I have this, and have posted it in previous Octobers. I'm never quite sure – do I go ahead and post the "classics" every year for new readers to download or do I try to focus each year on music I haven't posted before?

    I've always leaned toward the former, but wonder if maybe people don't get bored when I do that. Thoughts? Because I simply can't see having an October during which I don't post, say, "Monster Mash."

  5. Rozum permalink
    October 6, 2008 4:22 am

    That is a gorgeous photo of your brownies. I don’t really eat baked goods, but the photo itself is truly beautiful.

  6. Any major dude with half a heart permalink
    October 6, 2008 7:10 pm

    Hmmm, they look good. But cayenne pepper in cookies?

    The white background was nicer, by the way.

  7. Dane permalink
    October 6, 2008 8:02 pm

    Jon, that is a very kind thing to say – thank you very much.

    Any Major Dude – yeah, like I said, I had my doubts too. If I ever make these again, I’ll leave it out.

    And the black background is a tradition of mine for the month of October.

  8. Karswell permalink
    October 7, 2008 6:37 am

    Is the kitty edible too?

  9. Dane permalink
    October 7, 2008 11:57 am



  10. Halloween Spirit permalink
    October 7, 2008 2:37 pm

    Those look soooo good! Pumpkin and chocolate together – how can you go wrong!

  11. Dane permalink
    October 7, 2008 11:43 pm

    With cayenne, evidently. 😀 Otherwise, you are so right!

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