Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

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This is a guest post from Sweet T of Sweet T Studio.

For this recipe, I started with Martha’s Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies, & made a few modifications to the original recipe to bring DOWN the guilt-factor, in regard to my thighs, AND my wallet, hehe!  (I doubled my recipe, because I was taking it to a big party, but this would be an ideal recipe to make two, & freeze one for later! Time saver!)

  • 2 sticks of margarine or butter
  • 12 oz. (1 bag) of semi-sweet chocolate chips (instead of chopped bittersweet chocolate, which costs more)
  • 2 cups of all-purpose white flour & 2 cups of whole wheat flour (instead of 100% all-purpose flour, which lacks important fiber)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups organic sugar, 1.5 cups Splenda (instead of 100% sugar – note:  some sugar is needed for taste & browning, the Splenda simply reduces the calories)
  • 8 eggs (I didn’t, but you could always swap 2 egg whites per whole egg, which reduces the fat content)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cans (32 oz.) of pure pumpkin puree (instead of 20 oz., many vitamins & nutrients to be gained from the extra pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (instead of vegetable oil – Canola contains healthy Omega-3’s)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8-12 oz. pecan halves (instead of 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, which are pricey)
  • Non-stick spray

  • Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 eight inch square baking pans with non-stick spray.
  • On the stove top, on low setting, melt chocolate chips & margarine in a saucepan (non-stick pans are great here).  Stir occasionally until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine 2 kinds of flour, baking powder, cayenne, & salt. Set aside for later.
  • Combine sugar, eggs, & vanilla in your electric mixer’s bowl & beat with the paddle attachment until combined & fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  • Gradually add in flour mixture.
  • Separate batter into halves, in two bowls.
  • Combine chocolate mixture with one half of the batter.
  • Combine pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, & nutmeg with the other half of the batter.
  • Use a quarter of the chocolate batter (for each pan) to create a layer on the bottom of both pans.
  • Make the next layer with a quarter of the pumpkin batter (for each pan) instead. Smooth with spatula as necessary.
  • Repeat the previous 2 steps again, until both pans have 4 layers each (top-to-bottom: pumpkin / chocolate / pumpkin / chocolate)
  • Use a butter knife or tiny spatula to delicately create the swirl effect between the two batters.
  • Lay (smooth side up) the pecan halves on the surface of the batter in a linear pattern (so each cut square will get at least 1 pecan)
  • Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 45 min – 1 hr.  Cool before serving.  Each pan contains about 16 servings.

  • My name is Sweet T, of Sweet T Studio, & I love to make things. What kind of things? Well, whatever looks beautiful, tastes good, or puts smiles on faces. I’m an interior designer by day & a blogger by night. Usually I write about Design, Travel, & Crafts – but since I love to eat, dislike spending money, & have a skinny husband who eats whatever he wants, my other hobby is taking popular recipes & giving them “makeovers”. I makeover recipes by making them quicker, healthier, & less expensive. I’m no nutritionist or financial guru, just a busy designer & blogger who wants to continue to fit in her clothes, without feeling deprived of all the tasty options out there. Please come visit me at Sweet T Studio for more recipes like this, & loads of other great information!

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    1. I love how you made these healthier! I made a similar brownie pumpkin dessert but didn’t use splenda. No idea why, I alway use it in my savory dishes like sauces. Thanks!

    2. Looks delicious!

    3. Ohhhh, NOW you’ve done it! I’m in big trouble. I appreciate you at LEAST lightening up this recipe. *wink* I love the combination of pumpkin with chocolate. They used to have a cookie at Starbucks this time of year that was a soft pumpkin cookie with chocolate frosting on top. Really tasty. It sounds a little “off” as a combination, but the pumpkin/spice flavors together with the smooth sweetness of chocolate is a winner. Thanks for this one.

    4. Thanks everyone for the comments! These were so yummy, I hope you all give them a try! And as a side note… I really love the cayenne… So I normally add a “pinch” extra – it reminds me of the fabulous spicy-chocolate gelato we always get on trips to Europe… Mmm mm!

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