Pumpkin is one of those ingredients that can be both really healthy or really, um, not. It’s quite a jack-of-all-trades in that way.
Like, some people mix pumpkin puree into their whole wheat, vegan, gluten-free, free-range, non-GMO, no added sugar, soy-free healthy brownies to add sweetness and moisture. That is a really awesome, healthy use of pumpkin.
These brownies are not a healthy use of pumpkin. Well, maybe healthy for your soul. That totally counts! I fully believe that feeding your soul foods that make you happy is just important as feeding your body foods that make it happy. And these pumpkin brownies make my soul sing.
These brownies are loaded with sugar, butter, and chocolate—oh my god, the chocolate. These brownies are so rich and decadent, that you have to cut them into teeny tiny squares to not go into a sugar coma after eating one.
I was actually talking to my parents just last night about my sugar addiction (and I don’t use the word “addiction” lightly), and it’s gotten so out of control, I’m thinking of doing something crazy like giving up sugar completely.
But then I remember that I don’t get to eat brownies on a sugar cleanse. And I’m not sure I want to live in a world where I don’t get to eat brownies.
I could have probably eaten the whole pan of these pumpkin brownies, but instead, I just had one (or two…okay, five), and then ended up shuttling the rest off with my husband to take to class with him.
Usually I try to match up my blog-related dessert cooking with some sort of event that requires me to bring a dessert, but I was fresh out of dessert-friendly events, so these brownies were just destined to sit in my kitchen and tempt me for days—so off to a hungry bunch of college kids they went! Here’s hoping they enjoyed the sugar buzz.
Let’s stop talking about my affinity for all things sweet, and instead talk about these killer pumpkin brownies.
The bottom layer is your typical fudgy, dark chocolate, gloriously gooey brownie layer. Honestly, you could just follow the recipe and make the bottom layer, and you’d be in brownie heaven. It’s exactly the way brownies should be – crunchy edges, with soft and chewy insides (anyone who says brownies should be cake-like can, um, go away).
Mr. Pumpkin makes an appearance in the middle section. This is basically a super thick and deliciously pumpkin-tastic buttercream filling. It’s loaded with pumpkin spice flavor, and is a beautifully light orange color (which comes from canned pumpkin pie filling – if you use the homemade stuff, you might think about tinting the filling with natural orange food coloring).
Just like the brownie layer, you can just make this buttercream, and then spread it onto cupcakes, pumpkin bread, or a spoon. And then eat it all. Because, yum.
And then, because there is no such thing as “too much chocolate,” the top layer is a soft, velvety chocolate ganache that hardens just a touch—just hard enough to make the brownies easy to slice, but still soft enough to feel super decadent.
It’s like a gloriously sweet pumpkin buttercream sandwich made with rich chocolate bread. I’m not kidding, make sure you cut these guys into itty bitty squares—I recommend less than 2 inches—folks can always come back for more if they are really jonesin’. But they are rich enough that one small square is plenty to satisfy most sweet teeth (except mine, it is never satisfied—rawr).
If you can believe it, this is actually the last dessert recipe I’ll be sharing with you for Pumpkin Week! I figured that the pumpkin dessert world is already pretty saturated, and I’d love to show more people the joys of savory pumpkin. Coming up in the next few days we’ve got burgers, pasta, and soup, oh my!
I hope you guys are having as much fun with this influx of pumpkin as I am. I love themes! Enjoy.