Pumpkin Pie Spiced Brownies

Sarah Jane Sanders

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Brownies
From Stella Parks, Table 310, Lexington, KY
Serves 12

"As a Kentucky girl, I can't resist baking brownies in a cast iron skillet, but they'll turn out just as lovely in a quiche or cake pan," says Parks. For a weeknight dessert after the holidays, double the recipe and bake in a classic 9" x 13" brownie pan.

For the chocolate in the recipe, you can use dark chocolate chips or a few of your favorite dark chocolate bars, chopped into pieces.

Ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa, preferably Dutch process
2 sticks unsalted butter
¾ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, ½ tsp. ground ginger, ¼ tsp. ground cloves, and ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds or chocolate covered sunflower seeds

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 300° and lightly grease a 10" cast iron skillet (or 9" x 13" brownie pan).

Sift together the flour and cocoa, then set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, increase the heat to medium and cook until hot and bubbly. Immediately remove from heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth.

Combine the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and spices in a medium bowl. Use a hand or stand mixer (fitted with a whisk attachment) to mix the ingredients on low speed until fully moistened. Increase speed to medium and whip for about five minutes, or until the mixture has lightened in color and increased in volume.

Shut off the mixer and pour in the butter/chocolate mixture all at once. Mix on low speed until combined, then add in the flour/cocoa mixture. Keep mixing on low until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Stop mixing and stir with a rubber spatula, to make sure no unmixed pockets of batter remain. Adjust spices to taste.

Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan, using the back of a spoon to smooth.

Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and bake for about 30 minutes. The brownie is very dense and will retain its heat and keep cooking for quite some time, so it's alright if it seem a little underdone.

Cool to room temperature before cutting. Stored in an airtight container, the brownies will keep for about one week.
 

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