I really love fall. I love the crisp mornings, the leaves changing color, the squashes at the farmers market and the sweaters and boots I get to dig out from their summer hibernation spots. I also love baking in the fall. See, I miss baking in the summer. Since our house isn't air conditioned, turning on the oven in our house isn't an option in the summer. So upon the first hint of that fall crispness, I get an itch to bake again.
The first thing I made this year? My favorite pumpkin brownies. I ran across these a couple years ago and was hesitant. I'm a chocolate purist and I really don't like chocolate mixed with fruit, so why would I like it with pumpkin? But, I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen and thought it sounded interesting.
And interesting it was. In fact, these brownies are quite fantastic and completely reminiscent of fall. They are also very near and dear to my heart because they are the first recipe I converted to gluten free on my own. They converted so seamlessly, my family couldn't even tell I'd switched up the recipe. And that, my friends, is a success.
If you'd like the original recipe, you can find it here. The recipe below is tweaks, including the conversion to gluten free.
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
- 8 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 11/4 cup 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 nuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Cut a length of parchment paper that covers the bottom. Line the pan with this and then butter. I love this trick. It makes removing baked goods so easy.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water). Stir occassionally.
- Whisk together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
- Put sugar eggs and vanilla into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy and well combined. This will be about 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture. Don't over beat.
- Pour about half the batter into a separate bowl and stir melted chocolate mixture into it. This mixture will be super thick. Add a few tablespoons more of the batter until it is pourable. If the chocolate mixture is too thick, it will be hard to swirl the layers later.
- In another bowl, stir in the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Transfer half the chocolate batter to prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Top with half the pumpkin batter. Repeat with each.
- With a small spatula or table knife, gently swirl the two batter to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts or chocolate chips, if you'd like.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until set. Let cool in pan on wire rack.