It has been a busy several weeks around here. Once harvest and making wine begins, there is barely a minute to breathe, let alone eat. However, hard work makes you hungry and weirdly, so does standing around. Believe it or not there is a lot of standing around when we make wine; waiting for a tank to fill, waiting for grape deliveries...I could go on and on. Nevertheless, we are starving all the time.
So while I have been sorting grapes, taking Brix readings and eating lots of candy I have also been dreaming about making fudgey chocolate-pumpkin brownies. I'm always amazed at how well pumpkin and chocolate go together, they just work. Have you ever tried it?
I looked at so many recipes when it came to how to put these together, hoping the middle would set with all the chocolate-pumpkin goodness. I suppose a boxed brownie mix and pumpkin swirled in might be an easy way to go but they will NOT taste like this. My teenager mentioned these were the best brownies I had ever made...well, snap.
I know you will love them too.
My photo assistant is never too far away.
The perfect Fall treat! You might have to taste more than one bite.
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 Tablespoon plus 3/4 cup butter, divided
- 2-3/4 cups sugar, divided
- 5 large eggs, divided
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (85%)
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- walnut halves, optional
- Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with aluminum foil, letting the foil hang over the edges of the pan. Spray foil with cooking spray and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Add cream cheese and 1 Tablespoon of butter to the bowl of your stand mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar, mix well. Beat in one egg, the pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
- In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, over low heat, combine remaining 3/4 cup butter and chocolate. Stir constantly until melted. Remove from heat. With a hand-held mixer, in the same pot, beat in remaining 4 eggs and remaining 2-1/4 cups sugar. Continue beating in milk and remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in flour mixture until fully combined.
- Pour chocolate mixture into foiled and greased pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture into several blobs (about 6) on top of the chocolate. Using a butter knife, swirl cream cheese mixture into chocolate batter
- Bake for 75 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely in a wire rack. Cover pan with saran wrap and place in the fridge overnight. Use foil to lift uncut brownies out of the pan. Cut into slices.
- Press walnut halves into top of brownie squares if desired.
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