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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with rack in middle position. Rinse baby pumpkins and dry with a dish towel. Carefully slice the tops from the pumpkins (see photo above). Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp. Brush/rub pumpkins inside and out with olive oil and arrange them on a nonstick baking sheet with tops in place. Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until tender when pierced with a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over a medium flame. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and tablespoon of butter, swirling pan to mix oil and butter as it melts. Add mushrooms to pan and toss to coat with oil and butter. The mushrooms will probably soak up much of the fat in the pan; if so, drizzle in a little more oil, then add the shallots and toss to mix. Cook until tender, 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning (lower heat if necessary).

Stir garlic and herbes de Provence into mushroom mixture and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Season with salt and pepper and add brandy to pan. Cook, stirring, until brandy is absorbed/evaporated, about a minute or two. Remove from heat.

Remove pumpkins from the oven, leaving them on the baking sheet. Stir a generous 1/4 cup of grated Gruyere into the mushroom mixture. Set pumpkin caps aside and spoon mixture into the pumpkins, mounding it slightly. Sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of of grated Gruyere on top of the mixture in each pumpkin and return the baking sheet to the oven. Heat pumpkins until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Place pumpkins on serving plates, adding tops leaning against them. Serve.

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Marion created this delicious sweet/salty dessert. I’ll let her tell you about it:

Besides a dinner dessert, this is an awesome party treat and something excellent to take to your office. It’s not so good to drop into the bags of trick or treaters.

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