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.

 

A Thanksgiving Collaboration with Kendra Thornton

I failed you guys. Thanksgiving came and went here in Canada without me providing a single recipe for turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce or anything other than fall desserts really. I don’t have a good excuse for why it turned out this way. Sure I tend to focus on dessert anyways but I have never excluded savoury recipes from my site. I think what it really came down to for me was the fact that Thanksgiving all holidays are really more about family and tradition than they are about blogging. Let’s face it, I’m not going to do two Thanksgiving meals, one for photo purposes and one for actually celebrating Thanksgiving. Even though I do it around my immediate family, I don’t think it is appropriate to let 12 people’s food get cold while I work at getting the ultimate shot of the Thanksgiving spread. I guess you don’t technically need pictures to share a recipe but I know they are the first thing that catches my attention. 

Thanksgiving Turkey
I figured somewhere on my computer I would be able to find a picture of a turkey from Thanksgivings past.
Charred Brussels Sprouts
Charred Brussels

Enough about the actual logistics, pictures or not I am going to share with you a little of what Thanksgiving looks like in Canada, or at least in my family. The bird is the word, no questions asked. Somehow even as a vegetarian I still take on the responsibility of cooking the turkey. Hypocritical, perhaps, but I would rather do it just to remain in control in the kitchen. I always roast it hot and fast. I tried the low and slow thing once and it produced the driest turkey I have ever served in my life. I was not even eating it and I was embarrassed that others had to. For the 6kg (about 13lb) bird I cooked this year, I started it in a 450F degree oven, turning the heat down to 350F and letting it go for just under 3 hours. A little bit of stuffing goes in the turkey but I cook most of it in a 9×13 pan (mainly because that makes it vegetarian!). Homemade cranberry sauce is a necessity. My sister and I always fight over who gets to clean out any leftovers in the bowl, eating it straight with a spoon. Otherwise it really is a straight forward spread; mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, pickled vegetables (this year beets and carrots made the table), homemade buns, a variety of salads and pumpkin pie. 

Brioche Buns
Brioche Buns

A fellow blogger contacted me the other day with the idea of doing a collaborative Thanksgiving piece and I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast her Thanksgiving traditions in Chicago with mine here in Calgary. I would say there are more similarities than there are differences. Although I had to laugh when I read her description of autumn, we are already well into winter! Here is what Kendra has to share about her upcoming Thanksgiving plans. You can check her out on Twitter too!

There is no doubt that you have seen the signs that autumn is upon us. You simply cannot miss the orange leaves falling from the sky, the cool breeze that emerges in the late afternoon and of course the buzz about family plans for the holidays. I adore Thanksgiving simply because it allows the entire family to gather together to give thanks. My family loves to express gratitude and thankfully we get to go to Chicago this year to do it!
One of my favorite online tools of recent years is Pinterest. I’ve been using it to find new ideas for desserts and appetizers, especially ones that the little ones can help with. I am always delighted by the willingness of the kids to help me prepare meals and decorate for the holidays, especially as they get older. Unfortunately, mess is still a problem with us. I find that the simpler the task I provide, the better (and cleaner) the results. Regardless, I love their help and I am always looking for new meals we can make together. It is truly a great bonding and learning experience.
I love our family’s established traditions for Thanksgiving. Like many families, we have a few annual staples that are readily available. These include turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing. That does not mean I don’t like to mix things up on occasion. Since we will all be in Chicago this year I really want to try some new dishes for all of our family and guests! Recently I read an article on Gogobot that featured what five luxury hotels will be cooking up for their guests on Thanksgiving called, “Turkey Trimmed to the Nines!” I saw a velvet pumpkin soup with lobster that I’m going to make my own and add to the menu this year! This is just a little appetizer but I think it will be delicious for our family. This will really spice things up in the dining room this year alongside our traditional fare. I’m really excited to try it!
Each year that we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner we go around the table and express at least one thing we are thankful for. This year I am going to express gratitude for my loving family. I really think this is a great idea for any family and I encourage you to try it this year. This is the time to make memories, whether you are cooking with the kids or traveling around the world; do it safely and have fun!
What are your Thanksgiving traditions?!
 
Kendra Thornton is a travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. She currently resides in Chicago, IL. 
 
Kendra Thornton
 

12 Dessert Recipes for Fall

dessert recipes for fall

On my run this morning I had a little brainstorming session. Does it count as brainstorming if you are all by yourself? Well that is what I am calling it.

No I did not have some world-changing, life-altering revelation. I am not quitting my blog or dropping out of school. Nor am I getting married and having a baby. Although that seems to be the thing to do lately, I am content with my independence.

Anyways, what I really thought about was how whether we are conscious of it or not, there has been a shift from fall to winter, which means a shift from fall desserts to holiday desserts. And by “holiday” what I actually mean is Christmas. This was pretty darn apparent as I jogged along, concentrating on dry pavement to avoid slipping on the ice and cracking my head open. In Calgary we have two seasons; winter and everything else. Believe me, I am not complaining, I love it. I am at the point in my life where if the weather was such a deal-breaker, I would move. But I can take snow in July so I am staying put.

Back to the dessert thing, man I am all over the map today! As I was saying, we are slowly phasing out fall things like pumpkin and moving into gingerbread-y, peppermint-y, shortbread-y, eggnog-y Christmas treats. Before I complete the switch, I wanted to do a compilation of all of my dessert recipes for fall. We have already had our Thanksgiving here in Canada but I know that many of my American readers are still planning out their Thanksgiving menus. So if you are still trying to decide what to serve for dessert, or have yet to be exposed to winter and are still enjoying the bounties of fall, here are 12 dessert recipes for fall. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Sticky Buns

PUMPKIN

Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pumpkin Sticky Buns
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin Creme Brûlée Tartlets

Vegan Apple Pear Streusel Bars

APPLE/PEAR

Vegan Apple Pear Streusel Bars
Apple Cinnamon Blondies
Vegan Baked Apples with Oat Crumble
Apple Pear Crumble

Pomegranate Brownies

CHOCOLATE (because although it is fall, we can always do chocolate)

Pomegranate Brownies
Marble Chocolate Bundt Cake
Chocolate Caramel Tartlets
Chocolate Chai Panna Cotta

Friday Link Love – Thanksgiving Edition!

As it is Canadian Thanksgiving this Monday, today I wanted to share some amazing Thanksgiving inspired recipes to try out this weekend. And they are all courtesy of my fellow Canadian bloggers out there. If there is one thing I am thankful for, it is definitely all of the support I have received from readers and others in the food blogging community. Because I Like Chocolate wouldn’t be what it is without all of the love from people like you! So thank you for motivating me to put my best foot, or perhaps my “best bite” forward, each and every day. Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding

Wondering what to put on your Thanksgiving table? Here’s a list of amazing recipes from sides to desserts!

– Why not put these out as a little snacky snack, courtesy of Bite by Michelle?

Glazed carrots sound like a side dish to me, thanks to Jo-Anna at A Pretty Life in the Suburbs!

– Thanksgiving dinner would not be complete without some homemade bread. Or homemade pesto bread from Clockwork Lemon. Or the cutest rolls I have ever seen in my life at Dessert by Candy!

Mac n Cheese, always another valid side, courtesy of The Fig Tree Blog.

– Ok, ok, even as a vegetarian, I probably should not neglect to give you a turkey recipe from Simple Bites. Is it hypocritical that as the resident cook in my family I still end up roasting the turkey, even though I don’t eat it? Probably but are we really going to argue about that at Thanksgiving?

– Naturally you need a soup recipe for the turkey leftovers. The recipe comes from Valerie at A Canadian Foodie.

– I don’t eat the turkey but there’s no reason why you can’t eat cranberry sauce from Nutmeg Disrupted all by itself. Step things up a notch and make cranberry pepper jelly instead! Great idea from Janice at Kitchen Heals Soul!

Pickled beets are a must-have. Clearly Karlynn at the Kitchen Magpie knows that!

Pumpkin Butter you say? I’m intrigued, Oh She Glows.

– An alternative dessert to pumpkin pie, chocolate pumpkin cake. What immaculately piped icing Grace’s Sweet Life!

– I can’t think of anything more Canadian than MAPLE caramel sauce, thanks for sharing Let Them Eat Cake. Note to self; why haven’t I done this before?

– You could make this cranberry bread pudding for dessert, but I mean, what’s wrong with eating it for breakfast? It’s got fruit and bread; that’s basically like toast with jam. Thanks Peaches and Cream!

– Last one. I have to stop because this could go on forever! Here’s one more dessert, pumpkin bundt cake from Melissa at Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach, complete with orange glaze.

Looks like it’s time to get cooking!

sunrise
I just had to share this picture of the sunrises lately. They have been absolutely unreal!