Recipe for Caramel-Pumpkin Swirl Brownies – So what goes good with both chocolate and pumpkin? Caramel! The result are brownies with two layers of pumpkin-cream cheese swirled into them and then drizzled with caramel on top.
First make the caramel; this can made be a day or two ahead of time if you want. Add sugar, corn syrup, water and salt to a heavy-bottomed 3 quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat; stir only until sugar is dissolved, then let the mixture come to a boil. If there are any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan try to wipe them out with a wet paper towel.
Boil mixture until it starts turning brown, about 12-15 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook until the mixture turns a deep golden caramel, about 2-5 minutes more. DO NOT STIR.
Remove from heat and slowly pour the cream and vanilla down the side of the pan. Be careful, the mixture will bubble and steam. Turn heat to low and place the pot back on. Stir carefully until the caramel is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool. If making this ahead of time, store the caramel in a container in the fridge. Gently heat it up in the microwave when you make the brownies.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a 13×9-inch pan with parchment or foil and spray or butter the lining.
Add the cream cheese to a large mixer bowl and beat until smooth. Mix in the the pumpkin puree and egg. On the lowest speed, beat in the sugar, spices and flour. Set aside.
Gently melt the butter and chocolate together over low heat or in the microwave. Set aside to cool a bit.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Mix in the salt, sugars and vanilla.
Stir in the chocolate mixture. Fold in flour just until combined.
Pour half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Gently drop about 12 spoonfuls the pumpkin batter on top. You’ll want to use about 2/3 of the pumpkin batter, it should cover most of the brownie batter.
Pour the remaining brownie batter on top. (It doesn’t have to cover all the pumpkin batter.) Drop about 9 spoonfuls of the remaining pumpkin batter on top. (You may have some pumpkin batter left over.)
Use a spoon to drizzle about 1/3 cup of warm caramel on top (crosswise). Drag a knife lengthwise through the batter to swirl it gently. Don’t go overboard, 3-4 times is fine.
Bake for 40-45 minutes. The brownies should look shiny on top and when you insert a toothpick, moist crumbs will stick to it. Cool in the pan on a rack.
Do not cut the brownies until completely cool. For best flavor, bake 1 day before cutting and serving. When ready to serve, warm the remaining caramel and drizzle on top of each brownie.