This recipe was passed along to me by my son's head of school, with whom I often share book and recipe ideas during morning drop-off. Though she is an award-winning recipe creator, this one isn't her own. Nevertheless, it is moist, flavorful and spectacular. The original recipe was written by Ms. Iola Egle and featured on allrecipes.com. I added applesauce to replace some of the oil, replaced some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour and some of the white sugar with brown sugar. Instead of the frosting the recipe calls for, I've topped it with a dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of naughtily jazzed up whipped cream. —WeeklyGreens
Prepare a 9" x 13" x 2" baking pan by coating it liberally with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla extract. Whisk together until well-blended.
In a separate bowl, combine flours, sugars, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix by hand until well combined. Pour evenly into prepared baking pan.
Bake for 20-22 minutes. Check with a cake tester or toothpick after 20 minutes. I like mine just a little under baked, so I take them out just before the toothpick comes out completely clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
While the "brownies" are in the oven, prepare the cream. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, begin whipping the cream (which should be very cold) at medium speed. When it begins to thicken a bit, slowly add the maple syrup, then the vanilla and finally the rum. Continue whipping until it forms medium-stiff peaks. Chill until ready to serve.
Serve "brownies" warm with a light dusting of confectioner's sugar and a generous dollop of cream.