Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

Fall desserts often involve pumpkin and warming spices, but who says you can’t work a little chocolate into the mix? These Green & Black’s Organic chocolate brownies topped with pumpkin almond butter are the perfect blend of two favourite desserts, pumpkin pie and brownies. With Thanksgiving fast approaching, there’s no better time to try them out than for your holiday meal!

*Recipe courtesy of Regina Braun in collaboration with Green & Black’s

Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies
 
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces Green & Black’s Organic 85% Dark Chocolate
  • ⅓ cup butter or coconut oil
  • 1-1/2 cups coconut sugar or unrefined sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pumpkin Almond Butter Frosting:
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-3 tablespoons almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a sauce pan melt Green & Black’s Organic 85% Dark Chocolate and butter/coconut oil on low heat while stirring regularly.
  3. Once melted, stir in the sugar and pumpkin puree, then eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and sea salt. Add the dry to the wet ingredients and fold in without over mixing.
  5. Pour the brownie batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. For fudgy brownies a toothpick inserted into the centre should come out with just a few wet crumbs attached.
  6. Let the brownies cool before frosting and cutting.
  7. For the frosting, stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Add more milk to achieve desired consistency. Thicker frosting has to be spread, while thinner icing can be drizzled.

 

Ice Cream Cake

 

Ice cream cake

Ice cream cake

Is it ironic that I am writing about ice cream cake when there is a full-on blizzard outside? What better time is there to eat ice cream than in the middle of winter? You just have to make sure you have a mug of tea or hot chocolate ready to go for afterwards.

This ice cream cake combines 3 of my favourite flavours, vanilla, chocolate and salted caramel. All of the ice cream is made from scratch but feel free to use good quality store-bought ice cream if you are in a time crunch (or don’t have an ice cream maker). The brownie base is derived from my go-to brownie recipe, also used in these pomegranate brownies. When you think about it, it’s not a very complex dessert. 3 layers, no sauce, no nothing. But that makes it crucial that you use quality ingredients in each and every layer. I think that is a common theme in all of my recipes; never use crappy ingredients. But especially when dealing with ice cream cake. Ice cream demands respect people. And I cannot think of a better way of showing that than by putting it in an ice cream cake.

Ice cream cake

Ice cream cake

Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients

60g dark chocolate (70% or more)
2.5 tbsp. butter
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
2.5 tbsp flour
salted caramel ice cream
vanilla bean ice cream

Instructions

To make the brownies, heat your oven to 325F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Melt together the butter and chocolate. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg and salt. Then whisk this into the melted butter/chocolate example. Finally whisk in the flour. 

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake at 325F for 15 to 20 minutes or until set around the edges and still slightly tacky looking in the middle. Cool completely.

When the brownie base has cooled, layer on either the salted caramel or vanilla bean ice cream. Freeze it for 20-30 minutes before layering on the next portion of ice cream.

Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours. Slice and serve immediately.

Ice cream cake

Ice cream cake

Skinny Cheesecake Brownie Bites

skinny cheesecake brownie bites
skinny cheesecake brownie bites

Let’s be real here, some days you just want a big, fat slab of whatever chocolately, over-the-top rich deliciousness you can get your hands on. No matter what the caloric cost, you are going to eat it and not feel any guilt whatsoever. Cue the fat kid cake. To me, that type of indulgence is perfectly healthy every once in awhile.

But for those days when you still need your sugar fix without eating some sort of gut-bomb dessert, there has to be some lighter alternatives. That’s where today’s recipe comes in.

Baking with applesauce is not a new idea. I’ve added it to brownies before and regularly use it in muffins and cookies of all varieties (like these chocolate oatmeal ones).

Back to the brownie idea, applesauce can be substituted for some (not all) of the butter to help reduce the fat content. It will produce a brownie that is lighter than your traditional melted butter/melted chocolate recipe but where do you think all of that dense fudgy-ness is coming from? If you guessed melted butter/melted chocolate, you are basically a genius.

So what do we do to combat this and add in that extra richness? Well we don’t just make brownie bites, we make skinny cheesecake brownie bites. Now we can all have our brownies and eat them too! Ready, set, go!

skinny cheesecake brownie bites
skinny cheesecake brownie bites
Skinny Cheesecake Brownie Bites

Makes 16

Brownie Batter

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Heat your oven to 350F. Prepare a 24 cup mini muffin tin by spraying it with PAM or other cooking spray. Whisk together the brown sugar, white sugar, egg, applesauce, oil and vanilla bean paste. Add the remaining dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Portion the batter into the greased mini muffin tins (you can use a mini cookie scoop or just a spoon). Then put a dollop of cheesecake batter on top of each (see recipe below). Depending on how you want the brownie bites to look you can swirl the cheesecake in with a toothpick (that’s what I did) or you can pipe it onto one side of the brownie batter to create a half white/half brown effect. Bake at 350F for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool before removing them from the muffin tins. If you try to do it too soon you run the risk of them falling apart, they are on the delicate side. And if you find that they aren’t coming out, gently run a knife around the outside of each and prod them out with a little encouragement. Talk nicely to the brownie bites while you do this and they will be kind to you (hopefully). Enjoy!

Cheesecake Batter

4 oz. light cream cheese
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract if you can’t find it)
1 egg yolk

Cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in the vanilla and egg yolk, beating until everything is incorporated. Dollop on top of brownie batter and bake!