Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Chip Brownies

Yep, it's that time of year again -- almost Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving. So it's time pull out the pumpkin and spices. If you're looking for something a little different this year, look no farther, because this recipe is pretty much a marriage between pumpkin pie and brownies.

Here's what you need:

1 box Duncan Hines® Chewy Fudge Brownie mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, separated
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (roughly half of a small, 15 oz. can)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet because that's what I have on hand, but you can use whatever you think sounds yummy)
1 can Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Frosting Starter
1 packet Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Pumpkin Spice Flavor Mix (limited edition/seasonal)
Optional: 16 Mellowcreme® pumpkin candies, for decoration

First off, preheat the oven to 350°F; then line an 8"x8" square pan with foil and spray with cooking or baking spray. Next, combine the brownie mix, eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and water in your mixing bowl. Mix it up on low until a nice brownie batter forms, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

Set the bowl of brownie batter aside for now and get out another bowl. In this bowl combine the pumpkin, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix it up well.

Next, scoop 3/4 cup of brownie batter out of your first bowl and add it to the pumpkin mixture. Mix the brownie batter and pumpkin mixture together.

Now add the chocolate chips to the remaining brownie batter in the first bowl and incorporate them thoroughly. Pour the brownie batter into your prepared pan and spread it evenly.

Next, spread the pumpkin mixture on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Then swirl the two batters together using a knife.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F, then let the brownies cool in the pan on a wire rack. Once it's cool enough, you can remove the batch of brownies by grabbing hold of the foil and carefully lifting it out of the pan; let the brownies continue to cool on the wire rack until they're completely cool.

Now to prepare the frosting! Mix the Pumpkin Spice Flavor Mix into the can of Frosting Starter as per package directions, making sure to stir until there are no more white streaks in the frosting.

Slather that can of frosting all over your cooled brownies, making sure to spread evenly.

Lastly, carefully cut into 16 brownies with a small, thin knife. Top each brownie with a Mellowcreme® pumpkin candy, if desired. I personally think it adds a cute touch, plus you can use it as an indication of the flavor of the brownies. =)

Ta-dah! Pumpkin Chip Brownies: perfect for a Halloween party. =D The only thing I want to caution about is that, honestly, Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ frosting, while tasty and innovative, is thinner and runnier than other canned frostings and homemade buttercream. I tried refrigerating the frosted brownies before cutting them, but it didn't seem to help very much. The bottom line is that this frosting is, unfortunately, messy. I do wonder if you could make a homemade buttercream icing, minus the vanilla extract, and add the flavor packet to that instead. If anyone ever tries it, let me know how it turns out!

Your Cupcake,

~Jesia <3

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