Let me tell you about one of my favorite pastimes… I call it bathtub drinking. Bathinking, if you will. Whatever. I know I’m not reinventing the wheel here, but I bet there are still people all around me who have never tried it, and that’s a shame. Two distinct and individually wonderful things coming together and making a whole new something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Like pumpkin and chocolate. Yes!
You see, all bathinking requires is a hot bubble bath and a cold drink. If you wanna get crazy, bring reading material. You’re welcome! Also, I don’t see why you couldn’t have a sandwich, too; not that I’ve done that before (YESIHAVE).
Pumpkin swirl brownies are not quite so simple an affair. You need these things… Plus some other things–mostly spices.
This recipe involves a basic batter, a chocolate mixture and a pumpkin mixture. The batter is then divided between the chocolate and pumpkin.
Fresh-grated nutmeg is the way to go–plus, it looks cool. So, here’s the pumpkin mixture. It’s where the nutmeg goes…
The ch0colate and butter get their melt on.
The original recipe calls for the basic white batter to be divided evenly between the two different mixtures, but they differ quite a bit in consistency–the chocolate is much thicker than the pumpkin. Deb from Smitten Kitchen, whose adapted recipe I’m following, recommended a bit more of the basic batter to go into the pumpkin to thicken it up, and I think I took this a little too far. The end result was that there was lots of flour and baking powder and such in the pumpkin mix, but not so much in the chocolate batter, and I think this made for slightly uneven baking/texture. Perhaps that’s why Deb’s look so much fudgier than mine (although mine were still delicious). It’s not a dealbreaker–just something to keep in mind.
Then the batters get swirled together. Plop, plop. This is not attractive just yet.
That’s better, but my swirling technique needs work. I think I have a nervous batter-swirling hand… That thing just goes everywhere without listening to Brain.
So yeah. Cut this into sixteen squares (or not) and eat it all in the tub.
While you’re doing that… Find a cute someone to do dishes for you. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I’m preeettyyy sure I cook exactly 3.891 times more often than I would if I had to clean up after myself all by myself.
1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or about 1 cup chocolate chips)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 and butter/parchment a 9-inch square pan. Heat chocolate and butter in a double-boiler until melted, whisking until smooth.
In a small bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper and salt in a large bowl. In yet another bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer until well combine–3 minutes or so. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
Stir half of batter into your chocolate mixture and the other half into the pumpkin mixture.
Pour half of the chocolate batter into your prepared pan, followed by half of the pumpkin batter, the rest of the chocolate batter and the last of the pumpkin. Using a butter knife or spatula, swirl the batter to make a marbled pattern.
Bake until puffed and set, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, cool and slice into squares.