Date Pumpkin Pecan Brownies

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Yield: 12 Servings


2 1⁄2 c All-Purpose Flour
1 1⁄2 t Double-Acting Baking Powder
3⁄4 t Cinnamon
1⁄2 t Grated Nutmeg
1⁄2 t Ground Cloves
1⁄2 t Salt
1 c Unsalted Butter
2 c Light Brown Sugar (firmly packed)
2 Eggs
1 c Canned Pumpkin
1 t Vanilla
1 lb Dried Date (pitted and cut)
1 1⁄2 c Pecans (chopped)
1 1⁄2 c Nutmeg Ice Cream
1 1⁄2 c Sugar (for Bourbon Burnt Sugar Sauce)
1⁄3 c Bourbon (for Bourbon Burnt Sugar Sauce)


Date Pumpkin Pecan Brownies
Into a bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the cloves, and the salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter and the sugar, add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating, and beat in the pumpkin, the vanilla, and 1/4 cup water. In a small bowl toss the dates with 1/4 cup of the flour mixture until they are coated well. Gradually add the remaining flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, beating slowly, and stir in the date mixture and the pecans, stirring until the batter is combined well. Pour the batter into a greased baking pan, 13 by 9 by 2 inches, and bake the cake in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a rack, cut it into 12 squares, and serve it with the nutmeg ice cream and the bourbon burnt sugar sauce.

Bourbon Burnt Sugar Sauce
In a dry large deep heavy skillet cook the sugar over moderately high heat, stirring constantly with a fork, until it is melted completely and a deep golden caramel. Remove the skillet form the heat, into the side of the skillet carefully pour 1/2 cup hot water, a little at a time, and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, until the caramel is dissolved. Add the bourbon and simmer the sauce for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet form the heat, let the sauce cool slightly, and pour it into a heatproof pitcher. The sauce will thicken as it cools. To return the sauce to a liquid state set the pitcher in a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency. Serve the sauce warm over ice cream.