Food, Baby! Pumpkin-Possessed

By Jennifer Berke

Yeah... that just happened.

It's no secret that once fall hits, we become pumpkin-possessed. We want pumpkin in our coffee, our pancakes, our beer, our Pinterest boards and even our candles. (Anyone heard of a pumpkin spice candle? Do yourself a favor and go get one.) Pumpkin is the new black. Pumpkin is Paula Deen's new butter. Pumpkin is EVERYTHING. What originally started out as a fun carving activity for kids has become the end-all-be-all must have item this fall. Get on the bandwagon, folks, before you fall into a vacuous black hole of consuming non-trendy non-pumpkin foods. Like broccoli.

Sometimes you want brownies and pumpkin pie at the same time, but you can't possibly have both. It's against the rules and would be considered gluttonous and decadent, even bordering on immoral.

Well of course you can have both at the same time! There is no royal decree detailing which desserts you can and can't combine. No dessert police are going to knock down your front door and arrest you for combining flavors. Dare to venture past the realm of normalcy. Celebrate with me the merriment of the pumpkin season. Relish in the delight of a vegetable (?) soon on its way to becoming its own food group. 

To engineer this chocolately pumpkiny couplet of magical dessert miracleness, follow the recipe below.

Ingredients:

Brownie Layer:

1 box dark chocolate brownie mix 1 egg 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1/3 cup water

Pumpkin Layer:

1 cup pumpkin puree (I used Libby's.) 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 1 egg 2 tbsp. granulated sugar 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup heavy cream

Topping:

2 cups caramels (You can buy these in a bag in the baking aisle.) 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Directions: 

1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a pan with nonstick spray and dust it with flour before you start.

2) Begin with the brownie layer, combining the mix, egg, water and vegetable oil in a bowl. Pour the mix into the pan, and bake it for 12 minutes.

3) While the brownie layer bakes, combine the pumpkin puree, egg, pumpkin spice, granulated sugar, brown sugar and heavy cream.

4) After the brownies bake, take them out and let them cool completely. (To speed this process up, you can put them in the freezer.) Then, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

5) Once the brownie layer has cooled, spread the pumpkin layer evenly on top.

6) Bake the pumpkin-brownie bars for another 18 minutes. Take them out and let them cool in the refrigerator overnight.

7) In the morning, melt the caramels in a pot over the stove (on low to medium heat.) While the caramels are melting, chop your pecans and take the pumpkin pie brownie bars out and cut them into squares.

8) Layer the caramel on top of each square and top with chopped pecans.

Enjoy!

Follow Jennifer Berke's Blog Holy Crepe! for more delicious recipes.