When the Hub said he needed something chocolate for his Valentine Day staff meeting, I found this recipe in Pumpkin: A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year by DeeDee Stovel. The recipe calls for jam, but preserves were all my grocery store had in the apricot department. It didn't seem to make any difference. The pumpkin is totally gone from the flavor department, but still adds vitamins and fiber to a desert that normally wouldn't have it. They are named correctly because the apricot comes as a total surprise. I was impressed with the results, but would probably substitute raspberry jam for the apricot next time I made them.
Chocolate-Pumpkin Brownies with Apricot Surprise
5 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cups chopped, toasted pecans
3/4 cup apricot jam or preserves
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently and remove the pan from the heat when they are almost melted. Add the sugar and stir well.
Beat in the eggs and then the pumpkin. When mixture is smooth, add flour, salt and ginger. Stir in the pecans.
Scrape half the batter into the prepared baking pan and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then spread the jam over the frozen batter, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edge. Spread the remaining batter over the top and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.