Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pumpkin cheesecake swirl brownies

Last October, in the evening after my second marathon, I went to my friend Jo’s Halloween party. Another friend, Teresa, had brought a pan of pumpkin swirl brownies. They looked scrumptious, but until I tasted them, I had no idea just how scrumptious they would be—decadently moist and devastatingly flavorful, they were far and away my favorite treat of the night. I couldn’t stay away from them! I asked Teresa for the recipe, and she graciously obliged, so I made a veganized batch of them that very next week to take to my friend Rachel’s Halloween party. You know, to keep the party-dessert-karma train going.

I know it’s not anywhere near Halloween anymore, or even Thanksgiving or Christmas, but I don’t care how many weeks ago the holiday season ended—I love pumpkin year-round!

For the pumpkin layer:
6 oz. vegan cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup firm silken tofu (like Mori-Nu)
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose (or WWP) flour
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the brownie layer:
1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup firm silken tofu (like Mori-Nu)
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch square baking pan. In a food processor (or a good blender, or with a sturdy hand whisk), combine all pumpkin layer ingredients.

Process together until smooth, then transfer to a small bowl.

Clean out the food processor, then add the melted margarine, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla.

Process until smooth, then add the tofu (half at a time) and process to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Pour the margarine-tofu mixture into the dry ingredients and fold together until just combined.

Spread about 2/3 of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Gently pour the pumpkin mixture on top and spread evenly. (Sorry bout the blur here.)

Drop the remaining brownie batter by spoonfuls over the pumpkin layer. Swirl together with a knife.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until center is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

I was so pleased at how well the tofu stood in for egg, and in my opinion, the ratio of chocolate to pumpkin was perfect. Cut into cute little bite-size pieces, these made great party food. (Nevermind the fact that only half of them actually made it to the party!) I can’t wait to bake these again.

Yield: 16 brownies or 36 brownie bites. Per brownie (16): 183 calories, 9.3g fat (3g sat), 23.8g carbs, 2g fiber, 2.6g protein.
Per brownie bite (36): 81 calories, 4.1g fat (1g sat), 10.6g carbs, 1g fiber, 1.2g protein.

If you like this, you might also like…
Pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes w/cinnamon glaze
White chip brownies
Pumpkin oatmeal cookies

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  1. Those look delicious! 'Cept I don't cook!!!!

  2. Hehe, thanks! I'd totally send you some if they were suitable for transport (then again, you are local though, right?). In the meantime, may I suggest my no-bake peanut butter chocolate oat cookies? :]

  3. Those to look fabulous.

  4. Oooh, lady! That looks yummy!

  5. Lindsey—You ate some at Rachel's Halloween party, silly :]

  6. These are so dang pretty! I wonder if I could take a short-cut and swirl some pumpkin through a pre-bought brownie mix?? Have a great Sunday!

  7. Wow thank you so much for sharing these!! They look so delicious, I may have to try them before Halloween too! :)

  8. Kati—You could do the boxed brownie shortcut, but I'd swirl in canned pumpkin pie mix instead of just plain pumpkin purée :]

    Amanda—Hi! Thanks for reading; let me know if you try these and how they turn out!

  9. Those look quite tasty! I'll have to add them to my list of things to try.