PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BROWNIES
It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving. Time for turkeys, cranberries, stuffing, and a lot of time spent on the couch in a self-induced food coma. As I prepared to head out of town to see my family, I got to thinking about all I was thankful for this year. A lot of that includes my nearest & dearest friends here in the big apple. But alas, we all will be spending said holidays with our blood relatives. (Please, someone pass me a drink in prep for that!).
In the spirit of being thankful, I wanted to gift those that I cared about, but couldn’t see this year with nothing else than a yummy dessert. Who are we kidding, I gift the mailman with a dessert if it means I get to invent something new in my kitchen.
I wanted to prep something for my friends that would not only last a few days, but be a touch more creative than just another pumpkin pie.
In all seriousness, aren’t you sick of that stuff yet? If I see one more tweet or facebook post that starts with: “the perfect pumpkin pie recipe!” I will just scream. Throw down the apron and walk out of the kitchen to the nearest Denny’s.
Joking, it would have to be IHOP.
Hence these pumpkin cheesecake brownies seemed perfect. How best to describe them? Let’s see… if Thanksgiving. And a Chocoholic. Had a baby. The labor of that love, is these brownies. A touch of pumpkin, a touch of chocolate, and a touch of cheesecake all baked into one ooey, gooe-y, finger lickin’ bite!
If that doesn’t do it for you, maybe some of the snapshots will.
Happy Thanksgiving to all those that touch our lives, both near & far!!
Brownie layer ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks
8 oz semisweet chocolate
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp mayonnaise
Pumpkin Cheesecake layer ingredients:
8 oz (1 stick) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
¾ can pumpkin puree (8 -10oz)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 tbsp all purpose flour
Begin by preheating the oven to 350F. Line your brownie pan (8×8 or 9×9 inches) with parchment paper. Let the paper hang over the sides to allow for easy removal & cooling later on. Not to mention, less mess & quicker clean up!
Make the brownie batter first. Melt the butter & semisweet chocolate in a microwave, at 30 second intervals. Stir thoroughly in between to keep from seizing on you. Once melted & smooth, whisk in sugar & vanilla extract. Add the eggs, whisk until thoroughly combined and then whisk in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt. Lastly, add the mayonnaise and stir until everything is well combined. Put some elbow grease into it, this is one thick fudge-y batter! Immediately pour into your prepared pan, and smooth it out into a nice layer for your base. Now, it’s time to make the pumpkin cheesecake.
In a bowl with a stand mixer, or hand held mixer, cream the cream cheese & sugar together until fluffy. 2-3 minutes should do it. Next, add the pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla extract & mix well. Lastly, whisk in the flour & pumpkin pie spice.
Now comes the fun part. Pour the pumpkin cheesecake batter over the brownie layer (as much or as little as you want, I used about ¾ of the pumpkin batter, but you can use more or less depending on how thick you want your brownies, and how much pumpkin cheesecake you want to incorporate). Use a large butter knife to swirl the mixtures together to create a marble effect. Or, simply leave as is if you like the layered look. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing the brownies and letting cool thoroughly on a rack. Slice, and store in an air-tight container to retain ultimate moisture kick ass cheesecake goodness.
Now, it’s time to devour your food baby.