A lot of people think of pumpkin puree as an ingredient to use in pie and breads, and not much else, but pumpkin puree is an extremely versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into all kinds of dishes. One of my favorite surprising places to use pumpkin is in a batch of my Pumpkin Granola, which is a wonderful fall breakfast or snack option. These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies also use plenty of pumpkin in them, resulting in a brownie that is rich, fudgy and definitely a change of pace from pumpkin pie.
These brownies could be considered a great way to use up an open can of pumpkin puree or as a good way to sneak a small additional serving of veggies into the dessert of a picky eater, child or adult. The brownies could also be considered as just one more delicious way to enjoy pumpkin this holiday season. The brownies are rich and fudgy, with a slight chewiness to them. They’re dense and moist – thanks to all that pumpkin – and they keep very well. They don’t have the same sort of shiny top crust that many other brownie recipes have, since they are much lower in fat than your average brownie, but a dusting of spiced confectioners’ sugar or a drizzle of chocolate glaze is enough to make anyone forget about that small shortcoming.
If you pay close attention, you’ll pick up a hint of pumpkin in with the chocolate in the brownies, but if you don’t mention the “secret” ingredient, it is unlikely that anyone else will be able to guess. To make the brownies more chocolaty, I added a generous amount of chocolate chips to the batter. You could also add chopped nuts to give the brownies a little texture if you feel that they are too fudgy on their own. Serve these up with a glass of milk or a piping hot cup of coffee.
Double Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies
1/4 cup butter
2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
cocoa powder, for finishing
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together the butter and chopped dark chocolate. Transfer mixture to a large bowl when completely melted, then whisk in sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Add in the pumpkin puree and sift in the cocoa powder, then mix until all of the ingredients are well combined.
Stir in the flour and salt, mixing just until the flour is incorporated and no streaks remain visible. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips just until they are evenly distributed.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs (not wet batter) attached. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Dust brownies with cocoa powder before serving.
Makes 16 brownies