Teaching myself to cook, one recipe at a time.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pumpkin Brownies: A Comedy of Errors

It’s actually quite astounding that these brownies turned out edible, much less delicious.

Let me back up. Hubby and I were invited to dinner at my brother’s house. I promised to bring dessert. I was, for some reason, utterly fixated on the fact that I wanted a pumpkin dessert. Wanted one SO BADLY. I did a lot of googling and ended up quite disappointed because I had neither cream cheese nor sufficient eggs for pretty much every recipe that I found. I finally decided to borrow an egg from my downstairs neighbor so that I could make pumpkin brownies.

My neighbor, T, is an older, retired guy who really shouldn’t be retired. He’s bored out of his mind, lonely, and dying to strike up a conversation with anyone who walks by. Since our front doors are right next to each other and we both have dogs, this happens a lot to me (hubby is better at skirting by undetected than I am). T likes to do things like show me pictures of wolves, commenting on how much they look like my dogs (they really don’t) and share all the neighborhood gossip and ask me questions about hubby. T was the one that greeted the guys who delivered our washer and dryer when we first moved in (the delivery guys were a little stunned by the swiftness by which they became best buddies with this guy), and I still laugh about how seeing hubby in his Army ACUs stunned him into utter silence (for a few seconds at least). Most recently, T has offered to pose for a picture in a Santa suit with my dogs. This fact is only slightly less weird when you know that he’s Santa down at the mall. Anyway, T is pretty weird, but he’s harmless and friendly. He was thrilled to give me eggs and refused to take any back when I finally made a Wegman’s run. I really am grateful to finally live somewhere where I feel comfortable enough to actually knock on my neighbor’s doors when I have these last minute baking problems. I didn’t have that in Maryland.

So I started on my pumpkin brownies.

Basically, you make two separate batters, a chocolate one and a pumpkin one, and then swirl them together. Unless you’re an idiot, like me. We’ll get to that.

The batters start off as one. Flour, baking powder and salt here.


In another bowl, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla.




Gradually add the flour mixture


Until you’ve got this. Leave half in this bowl and put the other half in another bowl.


To the first bowl, add cocoa powder and chocolate chips.



It’s very thick! How weird.


To the other half of the batter, add some pumpkin puree


Along with cinnamon, ground cloves, and nutmeg. Also chopped walnuts, but I didn’t have those.



The recipe says to layer them in the pan, half of each mixture at a time. I used a pie plate simply because my square pyrex was dirty and I didn’t feel like cleaning it.

Sure is a weird texture. Wasn’t too sure about this.


Ended up smooshing it down with my fingers.


The pumpkin mixture was easier to spread.


Chocolate again. Again, required finger smooshing.


And the last of the pumpkin.


The recipe said to use a knife to swirl everything together at this point. I had trouble with this, since the chocolate was so firm.


It wasn’t until just after I put the brownies in the oven that my eyes fell on this.


I forgot the eggs! Total dumbass move. No wonder the mixture was so firm and weird!!! I was supposed to mix them into sugar-vanilla-butter mixture, just before adding the flour mixture and splitting the batter.

So I took the batter back out of the oven, beat my eggs, and then poured the eggs into the batter.


That’s better! I just ruined all chances of pretty marbling, but at least the texture looks better.


You’re not going to believe this. About 15 minutes after I put the brownies back in the oven, I realized that I’d only added the 2 eggs that I already had, not the 3rd that I’d had to borrow from my weird neighbor. At this point, it was too late to mix it in, so I decided to leave it alone.

But wait, there’s more! I also, at some point, managed to turn off the oven without realizing it. My brownies took FOREVER to cook, and it turns out that’s because they were just in a warm oven for a long time. I eventually figured it out, but I’m sure the extended warmness had a drying effect.

Finally, they were done and I took them out.


Looks okay…


Truth be told, they were somehow pretty good. I make a million stupid mistakes, but they were still fudgy and yummy. I’d like to make this again without messing up so much, but at least I know that the recipe has potential.

1 comment:

  1. That pretty much sounds like the story of every time I bake. :/