Deceptively Delicious Brownies

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a long time. It’s the spinach and carrot brownies from “Deceptively Delicious” by Jessica Seinfeld. I know there are many newlywed wives who have picky eaters for husbands and a cookbook like this one can help keep their hubbies healthy without them even know it. There are some people have moral objections to sneaking foods into their loved one’s meals. I consider myself lucky that hubby will eat basically anything. So I would never have to think about sneaking veggies into his meals, but I was still very intrigued by the idea that you can put veggies into a dessert and they supposedly go unnoticed.

I made these last night and let them cool overnight. I realized as I was falling asleep that I used unsweetened baking chocolate instead of semisweet or bittersweet. When I tried one, the chocolate taste was a bit harsh. I think that was due to the unsweetened chocolate. I did like the texture and how well they baked up. I had hubby try one and he had a very similar critique. I told him about the chocolate mishap ahead of time. Although he didn’t say anything about it tasting weird (other than the chocolate tasting a little off). When I told him there were veggies in the brownie, he said he couldn’t even tell.

Deceptively Delicious – I got the recipe from Not Quite Nigella
Nonstick cooking spray
3 oz/90g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup carrot puree*
1/2 cup spinach puree*
1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup oat flour or plain flour – I bumped up the baking powder and salt to account for not using self-rising flour as suggested on Not Quite Nigella
1/2 tsp. baking powder – I used a heaping 1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp. salt – I used a heaping 1/2 tsp

Preheat the oven to 350° degrees.

Coat an 8″ x 8″ baking pan with cooking spray or line with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or over a very low flame (or in microwave) In a large bowl, combine the melted chocolate, vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder, margarine and vanilla and whisk until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Whisk in egg whites. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt with a wooden spoon.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 bars.

Created by Jessica Seinfeld
From the book Deceptively Delicious
Makes 12 brownies

I used about 6 oz of spinach which yielded 3/4 cup of spinach puree. For the carrots, I used 3 large handfuls of baby carrots and it yielded about 1 1/4 cup of carrot puree. I’m not sure what I’ll do with my leftover puree, but I’m sure I’ll find something to do with it…

How to puree spinach
PREP No prep at all for baby spinach. For mature spinach, fold leaves in half lengthwise with the stem outside, then strip the stem off the leaf.

COOK Steam for 30 to 40 seconds, or cook in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of water for about 90 seconds, or just until wilted.

PUREE In a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.

How to puree carrots
PREP Peel, trim the ends and cut into 3-inch chunks.
COOK Steam for 10 to 12 minutes.

PUREE In a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes, with a few teaspoons of water if needed for a smooth texture.

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45 Responses to “Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Brownies”

  1. #
    1
    Becca — September 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    These look fantastic and are so festive!

  2. #
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    The Woman — September 28, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Oh my, these look divine! I recently made something similar, but with no chocolate – just a pumpkin batter with cream cheese topping. But I definitely think I must try these too.

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    ABowlOfMush — September 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    These are absolutely beautiful!

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    Carrie — September 28, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Look wonderful!

  5. #
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    oneordinaryday — September 28, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    These look awesome. I just wish it made a bigger pan!

  6. #
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    Jen — September 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    They’re pretty rich, but I would imagine you could just double it and make it in a 9×13 pan if you wanted!

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    Ingrid — September 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I made pumpkin spice brownies on Friday and they were delish so I bet these are EVEN BETTER! Thanks for sharing and I’ll be following your tweaks!
    ~ingrid

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    8
    Justin — September 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    i always make a pumpkin cheesecake in the fall with a ginger cookie crumb crust, but i’m liking the chocolate component in your recipe even more.

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    Mia — September 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    oh yum – love pumpkin, and the chocolate/pumpkin combo looks wonderful!

  10. #
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    Heather@BFM — September 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    These look great! Is there a way I can make them non-dairy? Something I can sub the cream cheese for? Thanks!

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    Jen — September 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Heather – I’ve had great luck subbing Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese in cheesecake recipes in the past. I think that would definitely work and you could use Earth Balance in the brownie portion. Let me know how it turns out if you try it.

  12. #
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    Jennifer — September 28, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Jenn! I just wanted to let you know that you won the giveaway on my blog last week. I emailed you, but never got a response. Could you email me your mailing address to jennharton@paducah.com. I have to pass it along to myblogspark so they can send you your prize package!

  13. #
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    Heather@BFM — September 28, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Thanks, Jen…I’ll let you know how they come out!

  14. #
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    nutmegnanny — September 28, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    OH wow these do look delicious! I love all that swirled pumpkin…yum!

  15. #
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    Nina — September 29, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Those look amazing!

  16. #
    16
    Irene — September 29, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Wow, I love these! My husband would die of happiness of I made these for him – pumpkin cheesecake is his favorite thing for fall.

  17. #
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    thereddeer — September 29, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    They look like tiger fur – very cool! What an interesting flavour combination.

  18. #
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    Colleen — September 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    We love these at my house! I like your idea of dark chocolate – I will have to try that next time.

  19. #
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    stephchows — September 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    beautiful! And they look so delicious!! I agree I don’t normally think of pumpkin with chocolate… but you have me convinced!

  20. #
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    Stephanie Wagner — September 29, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    The tops of these are a work of art! Love it!

  21. #
    21
    Nancy @ Live love laugh — September 30, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Three of my favorite thi ngs in one dessert! Chocolate and pumpkin and cheesecake! How perfect…
    ~Nancy

  22. #
    22
    Nancy @ Live love laugh — September 30, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Three of my favorite thi ngs in one dessert! Chocolate and pumpkin and cheesecake! How perfect…
    ~Nancy

  23. #
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    tagskie — October 1, 2009 at 8:00 am

    hi.. just dropping by here… have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

  24. #
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    Pantry Raid Blog — October 6, 2009 at 2:58 am

    The side-view shot totally won me over. These look delicious!

  25. #
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    bakingsimplicity — October 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    This looks so yummy.
    I now know what to make for the office potluck!

  26. #
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    Skylar Wolfe — October 12, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Those look amazing. I love pumpkin with chocolate, I plan on making these soon.

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    fawkes — October 14, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Your brownies look delicious! I am curious since I would like mine to taste more like pumpkin pie than plain pumpkin should i add pumpkin pie spices or follow your recipe for the spices?
    Thanks!

  28. #
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    Jen — October 14, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    fawkes – There are a decent amount of spices in the pumpkin portion of the batter. I would recommend making is as the recipe states, then taste it before you pour it into the pan. Maybe then add some pumpkin pie spice if you’d like.

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    lifeoftheparty — October 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I made these over the weekend and they were scrumptious!! I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin but this recipe is now a fall staple. I plan on making them for the family on Thanksgiving…thanks for sharing this!

  30. #
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    strmywthr3 — October 21, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I made these the other day and they were great! a hit at work! yum! thanks!

  31. #
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    malelanie — October 29, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I stumbled across your blog from a Facebook friend and made these brownies last night. DELICIOUS!! I doubled the recipe and it does just fit in a 9×13 pan and took about 60 mins to bake. It’s worth the wait for them to be chilled in the fridge. The flavors are even more delicious that way.

  32. #
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    Dorothy — October 29, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Oh YUM! And gorgeous, to boot. I never thought pumpkin and chocolate go together either, until I tried it! 🙂 Now I’m hooked. Good idea to double up on the cheesecake layer…you can never have enough pumpkin cheesecake after all!

  33. #
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    nutmegnanny — October 30, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you so much for participating in our event! These brownies look amazing. They say Halloween to me for sure!

  34. #
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    Shortcake — November 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I made these– now I love them! Will be repeated each fall 🙂

  35. #
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    Lexi — January 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Amazing! I loved these so much I played with them a bit and made cranberry cheesecake brownies for my christmas baking.(I didn’t stumble on to these till christmas.) I’ll let you know when I put those up on my blog! With credit to you of course!

  36. #
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    Jen — January 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Lexi – cranberry cheesecake brownies sound very intriguing. Can’t wait to see them.

  37. #
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    Kasey — March 3, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Hi Jen! I made these for Heather@BFM’s (comment listed above) birthday and she loved them! Unfortunately I could not find the Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder (I tried 3 stores) so I had to make them with the regular cocoa powder. Can you tell me where you found the Hershey’s Special Dark??

  38. #
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    Jen — March 3, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Kasey – I have actually had a hard time finding it as well. I had actually all but given up on it until one day it caught my eye at the grocery store. I proceeded to buy all three containers. I would say just keep an eye out for it and good luck!

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    Pup Wanna Be — September 28, 2010 at 12:35 am

    1/2 cup of flour seems like very little. Is that correct?

  40. #
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    Jen — September 28, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Pup – Yes, that is the correct amount of flour. Most brownie batters have very little flour in them.

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    rachellehcar — September 29, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Just made these- delicious! I only had the milk chocolate powder, so I’m excited to try it again with the special dark powder.

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    Courtney — September 13, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I doubled the recipe and it perfectly filled a 13×9 pan so you might try it. 🙂 And they are amazing. Also I used margerine not butter and found they were more moist. Happy Baking!

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    alyssajade23 — October 12, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I made these with my nieces and over all they were pretty good, but something about the pumpkin part tasted off. Still, fun and festive to make!

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