Friday, October 24, 2014

Tis the season for pumpkin swirl chocolate brownies

We're in a time of our lives where it's pretty easy to feel sad. While we have a lot to look forward to, this limbo is not treating us very well. I won't get into the details because they're boring and so small in the grand scheme of the big world, but I will say there are many tears from many eyes and lots of time spent sitting in my lap. Then, once the kids are in bed, there's lots of soul searching as I pray we made the right decision and that things will get better once we're settled. Sounds fun, huh?

In an effort to amuse, distract, and entertain ourselves, we take field trips to check out local hot spots and we dance in the living room and we wear our Halloween costumes whenever we want to and we make brownies! Today started out dreary and gray and Isaac asked about making more of the pumpkin cookies I made earlier in the week that we may have inhaled without even chewing. Mmm mmmm good. We are out of chocolate chips so he thought of another recipe to try. He asked for pumpkin brownies and I said we'd have to look online for a recipe because I didn't know anything about pumpkin brownies.

To Pinterest we went and we found a tasty looking recipe with one problem: 9x9 inch pan. There are six of us in our family. Minus the baby who we have yet to introduce to the ooey, gooey, delectable dessert known as the brownie. Don't worry; he is not wasting away.
9x9 pans of brownies are gone in one setting and this is not okay with me. We decided to double the recipe and use a 9x13 pan to guarantee leftovers.

List made and to the store we went.

Here's what you'll need:
 Here's the lowdown. We eat pretty well. Case in point: The other day Isaac asked why other kids don't think broccoli is good and Audrey raved about brussel sprouts and Elliot's favorite food is smoothie with spinach and flax seed. Brownies are a variation from the norm and they aren't healthy. We don't have canola oil so I used coconut oil and we always just have organic eggs and sugar. These are still really unhealthy and I'm okay with that every once in a while.
 This little choochie face was supposed to be napping, not walking around with a frying pan while pushing a laundry basket. Aaah, the best laid plans. . .
 There was deep concentration as cans were opened.
 This is what pumpkin puree, cream cheese, nutmeg, cinnamon, eggs, and sugar look like.

 Action shot of measuring, stirring, and egg cracking.
 This is what pumpkin puree, etc looks like after being whipped up with a fork. This recipe calls for a mixer, but we don't have one in our rental house so we all took our turns whipping the heck out of it. The cream cheese never got entirely smooth, but that's ok. Still tastes good.
 You make the brownies according to the box and pour 3/4 of the batter in. Audrey asked, "How do you know what 3/4 of it is?" I let her know it's okay if it isn't perfect. Just pour and guess and it'll taste wonderful.
Then you pour the pumpkin puree mixture on top. Can you tell which kid is hungrier?
Add the remaining 1/4 (give or take) of the brownie mix on top and swirl to make it beauteous. Then stick it in the oven.
Let Audrey take your picture with your littlest sous chef.
F for presentation. I can never get the presentation right. I promise they looked better in real life and they taste fantastic!

Three kids, one sleeping baby, brownies, and Muppets Most Wanted. It's a good night, people!

You want in on the brownies? Here you go.

Easy Pumpkin Swirl Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients for Pumpkin swirl filling:
6 oz softened cream cheese
1 c. canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) It always says this on recipes. Must be important.
2 eggs
6 TBSP sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

9x13 brownie mix
eggs, oil, and water as directions state on box

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
Beat pumpkin filling ingredients on low speed until mixed or use your big muscles and whip it up! Set aside.
Prepare brownie mix according to directions on box or your favorite homemade recipe.
Pour 3/4 of brownie batter into prepared pan. Or, you know, around 3/4 of it. Pour all of pumpkin filling mix on top. Add remaining brownie batter on top and swirl with a knife to make it all pretty and fancy. Clearly I'm all about the fancy.
Bake for 45-50 minutes and check with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.

You can find the original recipe here. Obviously my brownies are healthy since I used coconut oil and did a few yoga moves while they baked. (That last part is a lie. So is the first part. The middle part about coconut oil is true. Glad that's cleared up.)

It's Friday. Hallelujah! Are you turning on the oven to bake anything this fine, fall weekend?

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