Pumpkin Brownies

Holy Moley!  This school year is NUTS!  New principal, new assistant principal, new superintendent, new standards-based programs (yay!), new policies, new procedures, new growth-based assessments (yay!), new mastery tracking systems (yay!), new everything!  I haven’t been this excited, this nervous, this busy, this frantic, and tired since my first two years of teaching in New York.  (Love to my favorite people ever.)  It is so busy and exciting that I feel like I have just finished a marathon–every day after school.  Kids are learning, teachers are developing, and we are moving closer towards closing the achievement gap.  All amazing things.

With all of that said, though, when I get home from school, after school, and all of the after school work at home, I barely have enough energy to cook, let alone blog.  Never fear, however, there are still incredible things happening in this kitchen.  That is one of the only constants in my life….and the other one that lives here and Q.

Because it is a new school year and there have been lots of changes at school and in the district, it was perfect that a favorite staff member of mine had us all over for a gathering.  Appetizers, finger foods, incredible lasagna, and really, really great conversation was provided, but us attendees had to provide the desserts.  What did we bring, you ask?  Well, pumpkin brownies of course.

It is certainly fall up here in the Last Frontier, which means it is my favorite cooking and baking time of the year.  These pumpkin brownies are absolutely incredible and I am so happy they were the first things I made to welcome in the changing seasons.  Dark chocolate mixed with spice-filled pumpkin combine to make a magically moist and chewy, fluffy but dense, and sweet but savory dessert.  Honestly, these little gems are some of my favorite desserts ever.


Pumpkin Brownies:
Loosely adapted from this pumpkin recipe.
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups butter, melted
  • 3 cups of white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, and another little splash of vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 heaping cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • about 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • about 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Fill a 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick tinfoil.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. 
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt.  
  5. Mix the batter until it is evenly moistened, but do not over mix.  
  6. Pour a little more than 1/3 of the batter into another bowl, and stir in the pumpkin puree, and all of the spices.
  7. In the bowl with more batter, bled the cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
  8. Spread about half of the pumpkin batter into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  9. Follow with all of the chocolate batter.
  10. Top with the rest of the pumpkin batter.
  11. Drag a knife through the layers to create a marbled appearance.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes (maybe more). 
  13. Cool in the pan, cut into squares, and serve. 
  14. ENJOY!



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