pumpkin chocolate brownies

I know, I'm so late with these updates that the season is all wrong. It's not fall anymore, the pumpkins are off the shelves, and it's about thirty degrees outside. with snow now and then.

But i figure, you can always get pumpkin at the store, and perhaps it's better to eat pumpkin foods out of season, when you're no longer inundated with squash and sick of even the color orange.

These brownies are extremely moist and a bit fudgey, and they keep well. Because they're so rich, it's best to cut them into small pieces. The bittersweet chocolate pairs well with the sweet pumpkin; you could even cut the sugar if you wanted.

Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Stolen from Smitten Kitchen

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 3/4 cups sugar (the original recipe calls for the larger amount; I think it could be dialed down a bit)
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 (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish (These can be hard to find, and if you use an 8-inch pan, bake longer.). Cut a length of parchment that will cover the bottom and two sides (makes it much easier to remove), and line the pan with it. Butter the lining as well.

2. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.

3. 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.

4. Pour half of batter (about two cups) into a separate bowl and stir chocolate mixture into it.

5. In other bowl, stir in the 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.

6. With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Be sure to get your knife all the way to the bottom of the pan. Mine didn't marble so well, but no harm done.

7. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes (check early and often, know that brownies in an 8-inch pan will take longer). Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

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