With the rapid arrival of the fall season, I decided that it was time to break out a hit recipe from last year: the pumpkin cheesecake brownies. Mixing together two decadent desserts with a seasonal twist, these brownies provide a nice balance between chocolate and pumpkin flavors (and also save from having to make you choose which dessert to eat).
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
Makes 16 brownies
~ 1/2 cup unsalted butter
~ 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate chips
~ 1 cup brown sugar
~ 2 tsp vanilla extract
~ 1/4 tsp salt
~ 2 eggs
~ 2/3 cup flour
Pumpkin Cheesecake Batter:
~ 1/4 package (2 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
~ 1-1/2 tbsp sugar
~ 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
~ 1/2 egg
~ 1/4 tsp vanilla
~ 1 tbsp flour
~ 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
~ 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
~ 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- Take your butter and cut it up into pats in order to help quicken the melting process.
- Measure out the rest of your ingredients into containers to make for easy mixing later on.
- Take out an 8″ x 10″ baking pan and coat the inside with butter or non-stick spray, especially on the bottom. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium saucepan, melt down the butter on medium-low heat. Once that finishes, then add in your chocolate chips and melt those down as well, stirring constantly.
- Get the mixture so that it’s melted all the way through and not lumpy with partially melted chocolate chips. Remove from heat and scrape into a medium mixing bowl when finished.
- With the chocolate melted down, the first part for the brownie base is done. While the mixture is still warm, stir in your brown sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined.
- Beat the egg into the mixture one at a time and then add the flour, mixing until the flour is just barely combined to form the batter. Set that aside.
- In another mixing bowl, throw together the cream cheese and sugar, beating until thoroughly combined. Stir in your pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla, beating together until smooth.
- Add in your spices and combine before mixing in the flour. With that all done, you’re now ready to add the two batters together.
- In your baking pan, pour in half of your brownie batter. Now, this next technique is key to making these brownies work: we’re going to alternate spoonfuls of pumpkin cheesecake and brownie batter until they run out.
- (Side note: I tried it where I lumped all the pumpkin cheesecake on top of the brownie batter and it didn’t get the effect I had hoped for.)
- When alternating your spoonfuls of batter, be sure to overlap your brownie scoops a little on top of the pumpkin cheesecake so the cheesecake isn’t too exposed.
- Once the batter is in the baking pan, take a knife and run a tight zig-zag pattern inside the pan, creating that swirl effect and distributing out the cheesecake filling.
- Throw the brownies into the oven for about 25 – 30 minutes, enough so that the outside is baked firm but the center still seems a bit half-baked and wobbly.
- Let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring it over to a wire rack to fully cool. Cut your brownies down into the size you see fit.
The brownie itself is definitely more cake-y in nature, but with the cheesecake filling, it balances that out well. As a dessert, these brownies pair very well with coffee (my friend ate one with his pumpkin spice latte and he said it was the perfect fall seasonal moment).
Be warned, though: while cutting up the brownies, sampling one could turn into two, which could turn into many before you know it! Be sure to save some to enjoy later!