Friday. 8AM. Put your first batch of candy corn and chocolate chip cookies with cornflake crunch in the oven.
Give yourself a pat on the back because, not only are you not going to be late for work, but you’ll already have all of your Halloween baking done for the day and you’ll have the perfect Halloween recipe to share on Monday. Look at you, thinking ahead!
Return to the oven in ten minutes to check on the cookies. Realize that they have turned into a burnt sugar chewy disgusting mess because the candy corn has decided to melt. All. Over. The. Place.
Friday. 8:30 AM.
Reflect. Ponder. Ruminate.
Maybe it was your oven. Maybe you left out a key ingredient. Maybe all of your years of not really reading instructions have caught up to you. Maybe you’re cursed.
Decide to put together another batch of cookie dough to bake when you get home from work (thank god you had enough gluttonous intent foresight to buy TWO bags of candy corn!).
If you ever get home from work. Because. Now you’re late.
Friday. 3 PM.
Sneak onto the computers at work to read the reviews of this recipe. Realize that it was not you, your oven, or your inability to read that led you to cookie doom and destruction. It’s just that the recipe sucks. Christina Tosi, wherever you are – I love your cereal milk ice cream and your compost cookies more than my future firstborn child, but I really don’t know why you’d lie to me like this. I’m not sure that we can still be friends.
Decide that you are going to try to beat the odds and bake another batch of these anyway. Not only are you a glutton for candy corn but you are also a glutton for punishment.
Friday. 5:30 PM.
More melted burnt candy corn sugar. All. Over. Everything.
Realize that you are going to have to bake something else. And you are almost out of butter.
Friday. 6 PM.
Frantically search through all of the party-friendly Halloween recipes you’ve bookmarked over the past three years for one that only uses one stick of butter and will not require a single trip to the grocery store. Realize that you are severely understocked when it comes to baking supplies and that maybe you should spend less money on winter squash and more money on butterscotch chips and brown sugar. (Fat chance.)
Stumble across this recipe for pumpkin swirl brownies that you’ve drooled over probably six dozen times. Think – brownie = hordes of butter. Cry a little inside. (And, uh. Maybe outside. Baking disasters make me emotional!)
Read recipe. Realize brownie = only ONE STICK of butter + oil. (See what good things happen when you actually read recipes? POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT. Learn from it.) Thank all of the Halloween baking gods in existence that Bertolli has just sent you a bottle of olive oil to taste test. Bellissima.
Friday. 7 PM.
Put brownies in the oven.
Stress eat too much sushi with your roommate.
Try to put on your dresses. Wonder why the two of you haven’t fasted for three days to prepare for this.
Friday. 9 PM.
Gooey. Warm. Chocolate. Pumpkin. Delicious.
Treat. Definitely. Absolutely. Treat.
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Makes 1 9×9-inch tray, adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 8 tbsp butter, plus more for pan
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Callebaut)
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups pureed pumpkin
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Cut a length of parchment or aluminum foil that will cover the bottom and two sides of the pan with a little overhang ad line the pan with it. Butter the lining as well.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Put sugar, eggs and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until fluffy and well-combined, 3-5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
- Pour half of batter (about 2 cups) into a separate bowl and stir chocolate into it. If you find that it is a little thick, then add more batter (until it is pourable) as it will be easier to swirl if this is thinner.
- In the bowl with the remaining batter, stir in the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of the chocolate batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate and one more pumpkin layer.
- With a small spatula or table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect.
- Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.