Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Here's another one of those recipes that I knew must be made as soon as I saw it!  Last year my roommate introduced me to the chocolate and pumpkin combination.  The furthest I was willing to go was throwing in a few handfuls of chocolate chips in my pumpkin bread.  But this year, I was ready to dive head first into chocolately pumpkin goodness!  Especially when Bridget of Bake at 350 reports reviews like this: "If my girlfriend made these, I might have to buy an engagement ring."

We enjoyed these on Wednesday before Thanksgiving because we already had planned the menu for Thursday, but they still needed to be made.  There was a little too much pumpkin to the amount of brownie for my taste, so the recipe is altered here for more perfect ratio.  Wednesday night we warmed them in the microwave and served a la mode.  Thursday morning we had them straight out of the fridge.  Chilled had the vote of all.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies (adapted from Bake at 350)
Serves 16

Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 eggs

In in a mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth.
Add pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and the spices.
Once well mixed, add the yogurt and eggs.
Set aside.

Brownie Layer
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Over medium heat, melt butter in a sauce pan.
Once melted, add sugar.
Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder, baking powder, and vanilla.
After sufficiently cool, beat in eggs.
Mix in flour just until well combined.
Pour into greased 9x13 pan, reserving 1/2 to 3/4 cup for top.
Spread cheesecake mixture evenly over top.
Add spoonfuls of reserved brownie batter to top.  Swirl with butter knife.
Sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans on top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 until cheesecake is set.
Cool on wire rack, cover and chill in refrigerator before serving.

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