More Pumpkin Deliciousness

16 11 2011

I know this is supposed to be a “healthy living blog,” but sometimes you just need some dessert. Especially in the fall, when there are pumpkin treats everywhere. Gotta eat ’em up while you can! I mean look at these things:

Kristen’s Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake

Jessica’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Steph’s Chocolate Pumpkin Butter Whoopie Pies

Holy Yum.

I’ve dabbled in making some of my own yummy pumpkin treats this season. Pumpkin cake balls? Yeah baby. Chocolate + Pumpkin is the second best food combo (behind peanut butter and banana, duh!). So, I decided to go for it again, after salivating at the sight of some Pumpkin Swirl brownies on Tastespotting the other day.

Mine were more layered than swirled, but they still tasted delicious! Make these tonight!

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

From JulieVR on Babble

adapted from Under the High Chair, Smitten Kitchen and Martha


1/2 cup butter
6 oz (6 squares) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or 1 cup chocolate chips)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)


Preheat oven to 350F and butter an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch baking pan.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla for a few minutes, until fluffy; beat in the flour just until combined.

Divide the batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl) and stir the chocolate mixture into one bowl. Stir the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg into the other bowl. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan, smooth the top and gently spread with half the pumpkin batter. Drop large spoonfuls of chocolate and pumpkin batter on top, then gently swirl the two batters with the tip of a knife (just a table knife, so you don’t scrape the bottom of the pan with a sharp tip) to create a marbled effect.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until just set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Gluten Free?

13 10 2011

Last week, one of my colleagues was celebrating a birthday. We like to celebrate birthdays where I work, so one of her team members planned a little party. We were all asked to contribute some kind of snack, but the snack had to be gluten-free.

What was I to bring? I really wanted to bring a cake or brownies, but had no idea of how to make them gluten free, and I didn’t want to go out and buy special flour for the occasion, if I was only going to use a small amount. But then I remember that Sarah had given Chloe some GF cake mixes before she moved to Texas. I texted Chloe and asked if she still had those mixes and if I could use ‘em. She did, so I picked them up after work, glad that I didn’t have to make a stop at the grocery store to make a specialty purchase.

I had two choices, the devil’s food cake or the brownie mix. I decided to go for the brownie mix.

I followed the instructions on the back of the box, adding the eggs and butter and then mixing well.

The biggest difference I noticed in making these brownies was how thick the batter was. Holy cow. I definitely got an arm workout in stirring these babies. As a result, I couldn’t really pour out the batter into the pan, instead I needed to spoon it out.

But, once it was in the pan, I popped it into the oven and let it bake away. It smelled SO good, and SO chocolately while it was baking, that I wanted something chocolate of my own, so I made a hot chocolate. YUM!
The brownie came out looking like a “normal” brownie, and I was looking forward to trying it the next day.

We surprised my colleague with our mini party, and quickly dug into the brownie. The result? Delicious! I couldn’t even tell it was gluten free. Rich and chocolately, with pieces of chocolate throughout. I think it was extra special for my coworker, who said she hadn’t had a brownie in 6 months. WIN!

Though I wouldn’t regularly buy these mixes, if I need to make something GF again, I would definitely use the Betty Crocker mix again.

Thanks Sarah!

Question of the day: Have you ever baked anything gluten free? What did you make?