Halloween is right around the corner and Rania Harris stopped by Pittsburgh Today Live to show off a dessert that will be a big hit at your spooky party!

Pumpkin Brownies with Vanilla Ice Cream and Carmel Sauce

½ cup unsalted butter – room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¾ cup canned pumpkin
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup cream cheese – room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Vanilla ice cream (See recipe below)
Carmel sauce (warmed)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees – grease an eight-inch square glass baking dish beat butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and blend well. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger – blend well. Beat in pumpkin and nuts – spread batter into prepared pan. Mix cream cheese with sugar, egg yolk and heavy cream – drop cream cheese mixture by spoonfuls on top of the batter. Using a knife – swirl cheese mixture into batter. Bake for 35 minutes (until brownies test done).

To serve: Place warm brownie squares on a plate – top with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle warm caramel sauce on top.

Serves: 10

Vanilla Ice Cream

3 cups heavy cream
2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean


Heat the cream, sugar, vanilla, and vanilla seeds in a small saucepan only until the sugar is dissolved. Be sure the sugar is dissolved – you will no longer feel any grittiness from the sugar if you rub some cream between your fingers. Strain into a bowl, cover, and chill very well. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. Spoon into a freezer container and allow to chill in the freezer for a few hours. Allow to soften before serving.

Yield: 1 quart