Ghostly Pumpkin Swirled Brownies
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, soft
- 1/2 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour*
- 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder*
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1 store-bought black icing
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom and sides of a 9X13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. (A touch of oil will help it to stick to pan.) Set aside.
- For pumpkin layer, gently mix soft cream cheese and granulated sugar until no lumps remain. Add vanilla and eggs, and once incorporated add cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin. Set aside.
- For brownie layer, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda and set aside.
- Cut butter in pieces and place in bowl large enough to hold all ingredients.
- Melt butter over low simmering water and remove from heat. Whisk in sugar. Add eggs and vigorously whisk until well combined. Add vanilla and salt. Remove whisk and using a spatula, mix in dry ingredients.
- Pour slightly more than half of brownie mixture into pan. Cover with all pumpkin mixture and even out smoothly. Cover with remaining brownie mixture. Minimally swirl batter using point of a knife.
- Bake until center of brownies has set and no longer trembles, about 45-48 minutes.
- Meanwhile make meringue ghosts.
- Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Place over low simmering water ensuring that bowl containing egg whites, does not touch simmering water.
- Whip constantly until mixture reaches 100°F. (If you do not have a thermometer, it should feel lukewarm and feel comfortable on your wrist.)
- Remove from heat and whip until stiff peaks form.
- Place in a piping bag fitted with a medium round pastry tip. On a parchment lined cookie sheet, pipe ghost shapes.
- Place in oven at 200°F- 210°F for about 90 minutes. Keep an eye on meringue, it cannot turn golden. Since some ovens run hot, you may have to open the oven door occasionally. Opening oven door a few times removes moisture, which is beneficial for a dry and crisp meringue. Meringue can also be baked for an entire day on 190°F.
- Once crisp and dry remove from oven.
- Decorate ghost eyes with black icing. Add a small amount of black icing to bottom of meringue ghosts and place on brownies leaving enough room to cut into squares.