For our Halloween festivities, as part of a sponsored campaign by Collective Bias, I created the most amazing Pumpkin Spice Candy Bar Brownies with decadent Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing and a simple and perfect party punch.  These recipes are so easy, but seriously delicious.  They are not exactly diet friendly, but this is time of year for treats so treat yourself.  Hopefully these will be new favorite additions to your Halloween Celebration menu. Pumpkin + M&Ms + Chocolate Brownies = Awesome.  
I love pretty much anything pumpkin spice flavored, and I tried a pumpkin ice cream cone dipped in chocolate the other day. This gave me the idea to experiment with pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree in my candy bar brownie recipe.  Our friend Mary introduced us to candy bar brownies at the beach years ago, and we’ve been addicted ever since.  I added the icing as a bonus, and the brownies are delicious with and without it.  If the dessert is too rich for you, leave it off or on the side. 
A perfect party punch is simple, colorful, and delicious.  This one fits that bill and will thrill audiences of all ages.  It can also be easily turned in to an adult beverage.  You can find coupons for some of the products used in these recipes here.   
Pumpkin Spice Candy Bar Brownies
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
4 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 34.5 oz bag of Mixed Fun Size Mars Candy – M&M Plain and Peanut, Twix, and Snickers or Mixed Miniatures with Milky Way, Twix, 3 Muskateers, and Snickers

1) Preheat the oven to 350.
2) Grease a baking dish.  You can use an 8×8 for super thick brownies, or a 9×13 for less thick and more to share.  I prefer option two.
3)Beat the eggs in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
4) Add the sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, and pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin puree and mix well.
5) Add the flour and cocoa powder slowly, stopping to scrap the bowl often.
6) Pour half of the batter into your greased baking dish.
7) Lay your candy out across the batter.  For the larger pieces, I recommend breaking them up a bit.  Press them in to the batter just slightly.  
8) After you cover the whole pan with candy, pour the remainder of your batter over the top and smooth it down to cover your candy completely.  
9) Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Check it often.  I have an “That 70s” oven, so I’m always worried about my recommended baking times.  When your knife comes out clean you are good to go.  
10) Let cool for a few minutes and then feel free to sample a bit while it is hot and gooey.  Then cool completely before icing.  
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese 
4 oz butter – softened
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup real pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 1/4 cups confectioners sugar – sifted

1) Cream the butter and cream cheese with a stand mixer (or hand mixer) until light and fluffy.
2) Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, and continue to mix well.
3) Add the powdered sugar slowly, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl.  
4) Continue to mix until the icing is light and fluffy.  I’ll go ahead and quote the song: “Whip it. Whip it good.”
5) Once your brownies have cooled, spread the icing on top and enjoy.  If you have some left over, this icing is delightful as a dip for your graham crackers.   
For a kid friendly party, serve this dessert on festive paper or plastic plates with forks.  For adults, crystal or antique plates and an ornate cake plate set a haunting atmosphere.  Likewise, for a kid friendly party a carved out pumpkin or pitcher is perfect for serving party punch.  For the adults an antique crystal punch bowl adds a little extra Halloween flair.    
Perfect Party Punch Recipe:
1 2 liter bottle of 7 Up (or Diet 7 Up)
1 Gallon of Hawaiian Punch
1 1/2  Quarts of Rainbow Sherbet 
large punch bowl or pitcher
Perfect Party Punch Directions:
1) Pour your Hawaiian Punch into the punch bowl. 
2) Add scoops of the sherbet.  
3) Pour the 7 Up over the top to create the foamy green goodness that makes this punch a little spooky and seriously yummy.  

This recipe has a 1/1/1 ratio.  To create a smaller amount of punch, just cut the amount of each product in half or however much you need.  The punch may settle a bit if left alone too long, so give it a stir occasionally.

These brownies were a huge hit at our Halloween play date.  One of our four year old friends told his mom that this was the best dessert he’s ever had.  Out of the mouths of babes comes truth, people.  These sweet treats are seriously rich and delicious.  For other fabulous Halloween baking and party ideas, click here.  
What is your favorite pumpkin treat?

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