Friday, October 30, 2009

Mocha Pumpkin Brownies with Strawberry Frosting

***Please vote for my brownies in the Starbucks Via Recipe Contest. Vote Today! Thank you :) ***

Remember those French Macarons us Daring Bakers posted for the October challenge? Well, maybe not us. I, for one, did not complete this challenge when I had a complete macaroon melt down. Truth be told, I rushed it but I did get feet so I am not a total, utter failure. Its just that I couldn't pipe circular or uniform shells rendering Hunchback of Notre Dame macaroon shells (with feet) instead of smooth and demure shells we have come to know and love. My macaroon filling, a strawberry cream cheese frosting, was chilling for days looking at me with the lonely, longing eyes to be a part of an Autumnal dessert. How could I deny this frosting a place atop an artfully crafted confection; the crown on top of a Princess? I could not muster this kind of negligence and with the office Halloween party just around the corner, to the dessert drawing board I went.

As per usual here at L&S, I found my inspiration for Mocha Pumpkin Brownies with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting through the exceptional pumpkin brownies posts floating around the foodie blogosphere this October like StreamingGourmet's pumpkin brownie, Natalie'sKillerCuisine peanut butter pumpkin brownie, and BakingBites pumpkin brownies with pecans. I wanted in on the pumpkin brownie club, so I went to the cupboard and got to work.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1 80z. strawberry flavored cream cheese
1/2 butter softened
3 cups confectionery sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
(I add ground cocoa roasted almonds leftover, so I added 2 tblsp of those to add an allusion of seeds in the frosting. This is entirely optional.)

Pumpkin Batter
1 1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling or pumpkin puree* (Amount spices and sugar amounts depending on your choice. The following is for the filling, you will increase the sugars and spices with puree).
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Mocha Batter
3.5oz. 85 % dark chocolate
1.5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup pack dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Starbucks Via Colombia instant coffee packets
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

Directions (you will need several bowls and counter space galore, fyi.)

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting: This can be done days or hours before baking the brownies. The chill time is necessary to firm it up.

Beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add confectionery sugar one cup at a time thoroughly mixing after each cup.

Optional: mix-in ground almonds.

Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator to chill. For best results, chi
ll 3 hours.

Mocha Pumpkin Brownies
Preheat to 350 degrees and grease a 9" x 13" pan with butter. My mom taught me to save butter wrappers because they are perfect to grease pans with, so there is my little nugget baking tip for you!

Melt the two chocolates and butter together in whatever kind of double-boiler you can configure. Whisk constantly to melt the mixture together. Whisk until smooth and remove from the heat and let come back up to room temperature.

Mix the dry ingredients for the mocha batter and the dry ingredients for the pumpkin batter separately.

In a larger bowl, beat the eggs and sugar for the pumpkin batter until fluffy. Add the pumpkin pie filling and vanilla and mix until combined. Next, add the melted butter and spices; mix well again.

To complete the wet ingredient batter for the mocha portion, mix the brown sugar, Starbucks Via Colombia Instant Coffee, and vanilla to the melted chocolate. Beat in the eggs
and combine thoroughly.

To mix the 2 mocha batters, gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use a spoon so you mix it well enough but you don't over mix.

To mix the 2 pumpkin batters, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using whatever kind of mixer equipment you got. Again, do not over mix.

Pour the mocha batter into the greased pan and be sure to evenly spread it around. Pour the pumpkin batter evenly on top.

Using a large tablespoon, swirl the batters together gathering mocha batter in the spoon and pulling it up to the top and vice versa. Also don't over-swirl which mixes the two batters together.

Bake for 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick.

Let brownies cool completely and ice the brownies evenly using a butter knife. Chill the frosted brownies for at least 1 hour to let them firm up.

Cut into small squares and serve to hungry Halloween-ers! :-)


doggybloggy said...

these look good - and I need to try and make a macaron one day so that I can know better the experience -

Angie's Recipes said...

The pumpkin brownies with mocha! What a special holiday treat!

Cocina Savant said...

beautiful :) these look perfectly tasty, and i totally empathize with the macaron metldown!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

OMG Rachel - I want one of those NOW!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely pumpkin treat! I love the strawberry frosting here too!

Lauren CoffeeMuffins said...

I think everyone had a tough one with this months daring bakers! At least you got feet :)

I made pumpkin muffins today, but I think adding chocolate and making it a brownie is amazing - a definite crowd pleaser!

pegasuslegend said...

these look awesome! I like recipe and that you shop at Walmart lol the pictures gave you away hee hee....your a trip love the fun you put in your posts!

pegasuslegend said...

you knew I meant publix right? was making a joke ok lol just in case these are yummy looking and I shop at publix too!

denise, the prime magpie said...

Yum, this looks so rich and wonderful. What a perfect treat to celebrat the fall season!

The Chickenless Chick said...

Very creative brownies. I've talked to a number of folks who had trouble with Daring Bakers' this month. You managed to turn it completely around, so good for you!

Btw, I shop at Publix too; could anyone help it?? They have the best business model of any grocery store I know of. They are completely equal-opportunity and treat employees with respect.

Laura said...

Great combination, pumpkin with mocha, and then... the surprise strawberry frosting, very interesting. I love it :)

Divina Pe said...

Wow, that looks so divine. Triple goodness in just one brownie.

Cookin' Canuck said...

Wow, those look so decadent and delicious! I love the idea of the mocha and pumpkin together.

My Little Space said...

This is something I would love to try out! Looks really really inviting. Wish that I can have a slice. Cheers.

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Aww you can't deny the world the sight of your Hunchback of Notre Dame macarons! Did they have club feet? ;)

These brownies are amazing!

ValleyWriter said...

These look amazing! Yum!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

These sound wonderful. Sorry your macarons didn't turn out - but I'm all about some pumpkin mocha brownies!

Jessie said...

that sounds absolutely yummy! pumpkin and chocolate combined sound wonderful

Chris Stewart said...

So many cool flavours all together.

Lisa Curcio said...

Oh my! Yumm :)

Two Girls Cooking said...

Mocha and pumpkin sounds great! Very Creative!

CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta said...

Thx for the brownie love everybody:

DoggyBloggy - good luck w/macaroons. Those little devils make you work for the beauty.

AngiesRecipes - you're picking up the vibe I'm laying down Angie, thx!

CocinaSavant-I'm so glad we just found each other's blogs :)

Mardi (my girl!) - Love that you stopped by now and always. :-)

5 Star Foodie-always a pleasure to have you stop by

LaurenCoffeeMuffins - ahh feet! my only redemption. I bet your pumpkin muffins pair perfectly with a cup of coffe-Cheers!

PegasusLegend - I know girl, Publix is the best! I could shop at Whole Foods or where ever but I just love their sales, prices, and service.

Denise, the Prime Magpie - thx lovey ;)

The Chickenless Chick - another publix lover; woohoo! I was upset about the macaroon so I tried to salvage that project the best I could.

Laura@TheLittleChefI - Thx for sharing my flavor vision!

DivinaPe - thx for stopping by and I love the 'triple goodness' phrase. Killer!

CookinCanuck - I love pumpkin and mocha too. Pumpkin lattes anyone?!?? :p)

MyLittleSpace - If you do try it, let me know how it goes! [ ] that is my virtual brownie square from me to you.

Conor@HoldtheBeef - LOL! Next time I promise to post my grotesque failures for your viewing enjoyment.

ValleyWriter - Thx!

TastyEatsatHome - I'm all about the brownies too! Maybe I'll give the macaroons another go. I'm down in the fight, but I'm not out :)

Jessie - Thx!

ChrisStewart - I really try to create a whole movement of flavors with my dishes. Thx for seeing it!

Lisa Curcio - oh my Thx!

TwoGirlsCooking - Thx ladies!

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