Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

By Posie (Harwood) Brien
October 28, 2016
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Author Notes: A very dense, fudgy brownie is topped with a quick pumpkin cheesecake-like batter and swirled together. The result is a serious brownie: one for chocolate lovers and not for the faint of heart!Posie (Harwood) Brien

Makes: one 8" square pan

For the brownie layer

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, for enhanced chocolate flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the pumpkin layer

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (sweet potato will work too)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 inch square pan or line it with parchment paper or foil.
  2. To make the brownie layer: In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the eggs, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Beat for about 4 minutes.
  3. Melt the butter with the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, or in the microwave. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and becomes shiny.
  4. Add the sugar/butter mixture to the cocoa mixture and mix well.
  5. Fold in the flour and semisweet chocolate and mix until evenly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. To make the pumpkin layer: Mix all the ingredients together and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  7. Spoon the pumpkin mixture over the brownie layer. Using a knife, swirl the pumpkin into the chocolate. You can do this as little or as much as you want! If you don't swirl very much, the layers will be more distinct. If you swirl a lot, the batters will combine more for a denser brownie with less distinct layers. Both are delicious.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes (if you swirl them together more, it'll take on the longer side, but start checking after 35 minutes). The brownies should begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, the center should appear set, and a cake tester inserted in the center should have a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  9. Let cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes, then slice.

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