As a Starter Recipe, I try to make things easy and simple so that anyone just learning to cook can make the recipe. This snack food fits the bill, in my opinion. I was put on a jury recently and wanted to make something to share with my fellow jurors on our final day… this was the food I brought to keep us focused as we concluded our duty.
- 1 box chocolate fudge brownie mix (or your favorite box mix)
- 1 can solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- Mini chocolate chips (I used about 1/4 cup)
- Red wine (I used a Pinot Noir, but you could use any dry red wine or even substitute espresso if you prefer)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray your cupcake tins with cooking spray. I used two small cupcake pans (12 small cupcakes in each) and one mini cupcake pan (also with 12 mini cupcakes).
- Empty the brownie mix, pumpkin, and chocolate chips into a large mixing bowl. Pour in a small bit of wine/liquid (start with 1/4 cup) and mix all ingredients together until well incorporated. If the batter seems too thick, add a bit more wine/liquid. I like this batter to be fairly thick, but not so thick that the batter could stand alone, like a cookie dough.
- Using a cookie scoop, ladle out the dough into the cupcake tins. I used a medium scoop for the small cupcake tins and a small scoop for the mini cupcake tin.
- Sprinkle with decorations, if desired (I used gold sugar) and put the tins into the oven. I baked the mini cupcakes for 15 minutes and the small cupcakes for 3 minutes longer (18 minutes total). Use a toothpick to test when making sure the fudge-cupcakes are cooked thoroughly.
These fudge-y cupcakes will get very sticky if served the following day, so be sure to allow them to dry a bit so they don’t actually stick to the fingers of your guests. I got lots of positive comments on these snacks from my fellow jurors and that solidified the name for me… Jury Gems. We had three days together and I hope that everyone feels they did their best according to the law, as required.
If you have a chance to make this recipe for your friends, feel free to alter the name a bit… these are delicious, healthy, and surprisingly filling. Enjoy!