Because I was well rested, and consequently felt like baking (but nothing too complicated, mind you), I decided to find a pumpkin/chocolate dessert recipe for Halloween. I was supposed to bring the dessert for a party, and I love pumpkin. I’ve sampled every pumpkin muffin and latte within a 25 mile radius. I rejoice when frozen pumpkin ravioli hits the supermarket in the fall. I love my pumpkin, but I don’t want to suffer for it, so I usually prefer store bought treats.
Typically, though, after a few good nights of sleep, creative juices bedew my brain, and I have baking urges. Several years ago, I made a pumpkin cake with chocolate chips from scratch which was good, but I’m not ever going to make that again (too much work with all the sifting). How could I fudge a similar dessert? Use a brownie mix and do something to it? Add some pumpkin chips? Do they even make these? If not, someone should, I tell you. That’s a thousand dollar idea right there.
Typing in “brownie mix” and “pumpkin” yielded the following recipe:
Perfect! I thought. A box of brownie mix, a can of pumpkin. You don’t even add the eggs, water, and oil required by the mix directions. Could this be the holy grail of pumpkin recipes?
Uh, no, it is not. The recipe from the blog “Cookies & Cups” (a delightful site, by the way~whimsically good content) cautions not once but twice that these “brownies are a little different than a regular brownie…denser.” They tasted exactly like gummy chocolate vegetables, reminiscent of the “chocolate cake” made in my Easy Bake Oven circa 1972. Yuck to the recipe, but kudos for it reviving a long buried memory of gagging on my very first creation. (I’ve gagged plenty since.)
Other people didn’t seem to dislike them as much as I did, although most of the brownies were still there when I left the party. Yes, I did take them to the party~I had already fake baked once and I wasn’t going to do it again, nor did I want to drive to the grocery store. That would be fifteen minutes wasted that I’d rather have to lie down and read.
Lesson learned: if a recipe only requires you to plop two ingredients into a bowl (even if they are your favorite ingredients), the result is likely to be much less than the sum of the parts.