Sunday, September 27, 2009

Country Pumpkin

I absolutely love fall. Let me rephrase that. I absolutely love fall while it is still sunny and above 60 degrees outside. One of the best things about my recent travels was getting to enjoy my sightseeing while still graced with the lovely sunshine and warm temps of a lingering summer across the Continent. But no sooner had I touched down back at Dulles airport and emerged bleary-eyed from the baggage claim was I greeted with the undeniable proof that fall had arrived during my absence; the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte had returned.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the true reason I love fall is that, in fact, I love all things "spice." Pumpkin spice. Apple spice. Gingerbread spice. You name it, I can't wait for the excuse of cooler temps to tuck into a warm bowl of anything-spice-with-caramel-on-top. I don't know why there are certain flavors that we come to associate with specific seasons of the year, but I also don't ask too many questions before stocking up on jars of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice that herald the return of the holiday season.

Thus, I apologize in advance for what is sure to be an inundation of pumpkin spice recipes over the next three months, as I've already come across several pumpkin-themed custards, bread puddings, cheesecakes and candies that I can't wait to try. If you get spiced out, just check back with me in the New Year when I'm sure to have returned to my senses :) And, to kick it all off, I bring you Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies! The title of this recipe is a little misleading, as the "brownies" are really more of a cake or quick bread texture in the shape of brownies, but they are delicious nonetheless. Also a note, these will turn out just as well if you accidentally buy a can of pumpkin pie mix (which already includes some spices) instead of plain pumpkin. I mean, not like I would ever do anything like that know, just in case you were wondering.... (Whoops!)
Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies
makes 16

1/2 canned pure pumpkin
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 egg whites
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Combine pumpkin, sugar, egg, egg whites and oil in large mixer bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Add flour, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, salt and nutmeg. Beat on low speed until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread evenly into prepared pan.

3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 2-inch squares.

*I also doubled this recipe and baked in two pans

1 comment:

  1. Those look delicious and like they don't have too much chocolate so I could actually eat them... yes, the secret's out, I am actually allergic to chocolate which is the worse thing ever when you're French.