I love brownies. Through the turmoil of my teenage years and the raucous over-eating of my college years to now, brownies have been a constant companion to my highs and (calorie-laden) lows. I've made brownies from scratch, I've used the box mix... hell, I was a baker at a bakery that specialized in brownies. So yeah... I'd say I'm pretty familiar with them.
Everyone has their own opinions on what the best brownie ever is, but one of the hallmarks of an excellent brownie in my opinion is its fudginess. If a brownie isn't fudgy... it might as well be chocolate cake. So when the two-ingredient recipe for brownie mix and soda appeared and became popular, I turned up my snobby nose. The texture of the crumb was described as crumbly and less dense; two things that sound like the antithesis of fudgy. No, thanks—I'll stick to my dense, chewy brownies.
And then, pumpkin brownies appeared, just in time for fall season (and the inevitable increase in pumpkin purée stock at the grocery store). This recipe also only involves two ingredients—but pumpkin purée replaces the soda when combined with boxed brownie mix.
The results are fabulous—a chewy, fudgy crumb that is not only moist, but rich with chocolatey flavor. Just look at that crumb in the cross-section! Yum.
Not only is using pumpkin purée easier, it's also healthier. It's lower in both fat and cholesterol than using eggs and oil; it's also a great vegan option for your friends that opt out of eating meat or meat products.
The recipe itself isn't really a recipe: just combine a box of chocolate brownie mix (19 oz.) with a can of pumpkin purée (15 oz.) in a bowl, then follow the rest of the directions on the box. Easy peasy!
Feel free to "spice" up the recipe a bit with spices that match well with pumpkin, such as cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg. Pumpkin brownies on their own are fudgy with a very mild pumpkin flavor, but adding spices will really make these brownies taste seasonal.
So if you're a brownie snob like me, I encourage you to give this two-ingredient recipe a try... and to let us know how much you enjoyed the chocolatey, chewy goodness once you've baked them.
Interested in more recipes with short ingredient lists? Try this recipe for two-ingredient pancakes or this recipe for two-ingredient pizza dough. And if you'd like to find more ways to use pumpkin, both in recipes and otherwise, we've got a list for you.