Have I mentioned here before that I love Trader Joe’s?! I was born in California, also the birthplace of Trader Joe’s, and as a kid my absolute favorite snack was the TJ’s peanut butter pretzels. But when my parents moved us to Georgia, those pretzels became a once a year treat that got mailed to me from my incredibly sweet relatives who always remembered to send a Christmas box full of Trader Joe’s goodies. Since I’ve moved to Virginia, Georgia now has several Trader Joe’s (thanks alot, guys…nice timing) so pretty much I will never be without one again. Besides the great prices and amazing cheese section, one of the best parts about TJ’s is the free samples.
This amazing treat was inspired by a sample that Jason and I tasted there a couple days ago. They combine their pumpkin bread mix and their truffle brownie mix to make an incredibly satisfying pumpkin swirl brownie. One bite in the store, and I told Jason I would definitely be trying my own version at home.
Hold the phone. Call the sheriff. Sound the alarm. Shut the door. This is delicious.
For the brownie batter:
- 1/2 c. melted Earth Balance (butter can be substituted)
- 1/2 c. ripe, mashed banana (about 1 banana)
- 1 1/2 c. organic sugar
- 1/2 c. cocoa powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. baking powder
-Whisk together the Earth Balance, banana, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, and vanilla.
-Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and then mix into the wet ingredients, just until it’s all combined. Set the batter aside
For the pumpkin batter:
- 1 c. pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. melted Earth Balance or oil
- 1/3 c. water
- 1 c. organic sugar
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. nutmeg
- dash of allspice
- dash of ginger
-Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, and sugar until smooth.
-In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients.
-Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet just until combined. Set batter aside.
To finish the bread:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a large loaf pan.
-Using 2 large spoons, alternate placing a spoon of each batter into the pan (I illustrate the method in this post) until the pan is full. Using a toothpick or a thin knife, swirl the batter around a little.
-Bake in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes-1 hour, checking for doneness with a toothpick. Cover the top loosely with aluminum foil if it starts to brown too much.
-Remove the loaf and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Flip the bread out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely, about 45 minutes more minutes. Slice and enjoy! Makes 1 large loaf, about 12 servings.
I don’t know why I never thought of pumpkin and chocolate together, but it really works. This recipe would make great muffins or you could bake them in brownie form and I’m sure they’d be just as awesome. So moist and flavorful!
I’ve been baking a lot…that’s what I do when I get stressed out. The semester is picking up, holidays are coming soon, I’m getting emails about registering for next semester and searching for jobs…
With something sweet in my stomach, my complaints go away. Plus, ’tis the season for baking!
Thanks for reading!