Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mix it up Monday

I did actually bake these yesterday, but it was nearly midnight when I finally took them out of the oven. You may remember the Great Hazelnut Debacle of 08, since then Kroger has decided to occasionally stock chopped hazelnuts. Oh, Kroger, how I love thee and your haphazard inventory (don't get me started on the Danimals - the one dairy product my child will drink). So I have had a bag of chopped hazelnuts just waiting to be used. I had planned to use them at Christmas, but good grief, the food, it was overwhelming. So I searched out what I thought would be a different use of hazelnuts, but lo and behold, they have already been made here and here and over here. I guess I don't get any points for originality. My problems do seem original though. To start with, I had 3 oz of semi sweet chocolate and 3 oz of unsweetened chocolate. After some google research, I decided that the thing to do would be to add some extra sugar. Now, I really thing that was unnecessary. They aren't overly sweet, but I think the sugar in the semi sweet would have sweetened the unsweetened chocolate enough. Mine also did this funky "rising" thing. I don't know how to describe it and am not sure you can see in the picture, but the center sort of...well, rose. You know how bread rises in the center and then splits, like that but without the split. Why would it do this? I have no idea. The recipe calls for a baking time of 40-45mins, after 45 mins mine was no where near done in the center so I baked it for closer to an hour. I was happy to see that Aimee from UtHC also complained about the forty bajillion bowls, spoons, measuring cups and spatulas this recipe used. I hate that. They also aren't what I would call a traditional "brownie", they are thicker and more dense, more like cake. But, they are good and would certainly fit the bill for a Halloween or Thanksgiving treat, or a Monday when you have hazelnuts to use.

Martha Stewart's Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
  4. Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don't set.
  5. With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.
  6. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.
Least you think I sold Hollis to the gypsies, here he is enjoying a Pumpkin Swirl Brownie. He declared that he "loves it", to be fair though, he loves a lot of things right now.

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