Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
And those are words I love.
I also love chocolate, which is why we used bars of dark chocolate, cacao chunks, and rich cacao butter to make these brownies a trifecta of chocolatey heaven.
You're gonna love 'em.
It adds a soft, gooey pumpkin layer to an already sweet, fudgy bottom layer.
The combination creates an almost cheesecake-like brownie that will make an appearance at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and daylight savings day too.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup cacao nibs*
1/3 cup dark chocolate bar, broken into small pieces*
1/3 cup cacao butter*
6 tablespoons vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax, 6 tablespoons water)**
pumpkin swirl topping ingredients:
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree***
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
*As you may have noticed, three 1/3 cup measurements makes for 1 cup of chocolate in this recipe. If you don't have cacao nibs or butter and want to use only dark chocolate, please do. If you want to sub it all out for cacao nibs, you may also do that. I just loved the three chocolatey flavors all together, and highly recommend it!
**To make a flax 'egg', mix 2 tablespoons ground flax with 6 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until the mixture turns slightly gelatinous. This recipe calls for two flax eggs, so simply double the original mixture.
***Just make sure you're buying 100% pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie mix is a very different product and while it would probably be delicious, we won't be using it here.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x7 inch pan.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, and salt.
Set it aside.
Using the double boiler method, melt cacao nibs, cacao butter, dark chocolate, butter, and vanilla until they become the consistency of warm chocolate fudge sauce, sort of like chocolate gravy...yum!
Once the chocolate mixture is melted and well combined, add it to the dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Add flax eggs and stir again. Pour the resulting brownie batter into the 9x7 inch pan.
In a bowl, whisk together the can of pumpkin, unsweetened applesauce, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour it evenly over the brownie batter, using a butter knife or toothpick to gently swirl some of the pumpkin topping into the chocolate batter.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the pumpkin is slightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let brownies cool for 20-30 minutes before enjoying them so the chocolate and pumpkin layers can set.
When they are cool, try them with a giant scoop of coconut ice cream...or with two forks on the couch while you watch parks and recreation.