Pumpkin is one of my favorite ingredients in cookies and brownies. It adds moisture to the batter, and of course nutrition in the form of lutein and beta carotene. Although somewhat of a stretch, the idea of adding pumpkin to brownies might also be appealing to Moms trying to get kids to eat more vegetables. Regardless, the pumpkin-swirl brownie recipe from Martha Stewart is delicious, featuring a small dose of cayenne pepper, spices, pumpkin puree, and hazelnuts.
Makes 16 brownies
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.
Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don’t set.
With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.
Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.