A little piece of heaven…

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I am so excited to have my dear friend and baker-extrordinaire Sylvia Francisco guest post on our blog today.  Sylvia is so talented when it comes to anything baking or cooking, and I have been blessed many times with invites for dinner, desserts for birthdays, and ‘just because’ muffins.  She is such an amazing friend and has made my time in Vancouver so rich!

When we were chatting about this post, she had me look through her facebook album of her amazing baking creations she has made over the last while.  When I came across these pumpkin brownies, I knew they had to be featured.  Pumpkin and brownie marbled together into a perfect piece of heaven…seriously…could there be a better combo!?

And just when you start drooling about the pumpkin and brownies…there are…

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Shut the front door. Pure bliss.

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She was kind enough to share the recipe with all of YOU!  Isn’t she the best!

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Marbled Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 oz bittersweet chocolate (I use semi-sweet chocolate chips)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (I add a splash more)
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling…pure puree. I add a bit more of this too as I LOVE pumpkin flavour)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (I heap mine…I love fall flavours)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I heap…again)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (the recipe calls for hazelnuts, but pecans are my all time favorite baking nut – so in they go!)

1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan/dish. Cut a length of parchment that will cover the bottom and two sides of the pan (makes them much easier to remove), line the pan with it. Butter the parchment lining too.

2) Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave in a microwave-proof bowl. Stir often until both are well melted and mixed.

3) Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy and well combined with a hand-held mixer – approx 3 minutes. (Alternately, you can also cream the sugar/eggs/vanilla together in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment…but I prefer the hand-held mixer). Add and beat in the flour mixture.

4) Pour half of the batter (about 2 cups) into a bowl and stir in the chocolate mixture. This mixture should be a nice/pourable consistency…so if not, you can add a splash or so of milk until it is.

5) In the other bowl, stir the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the remaining batter.

6) Transfer 1/2 of the chocolate batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. The layers won’t be very thick so don’t be alarmed if the spreading takes a few minutes to execute. Top the chocolate batter with 1/2 of the pumpkin batter; smooth. Repeat these steps again, once more with the chocolate and pumpkin – you will have 4 layers in total.

7) Insert a table knife gently into the pan, until it hits the bottom. Run the knife through the batter along the length of the pan, swirling the layers together. Repeat this throughout the entire pan until it has a marbled effect. Smooth the top of the batter out again, and sprinkle with the nuts.

8) Bake 40-45 minutes, until set. Let the brownies cool in the pan, then cut/serve.

This brownie is very dense and rich, so only a little square is needed! Paired with a fresh americano or chai tea latte, this is a wonderful fall treat!

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With American Thanksgiving just around the corner and Pumpkin Spice Lattes still in full swing at Starbucks, this recipe has come at the perfect time.  Thanks Sylvia!

xo

Jillian Marie

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