Thursday, October 1, 2009

Yummy Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Wednesday was my coworker Joanna's birthday. I usually bring something to celebrate such occasions, but I was having trouble deciding what to bake this time. We've had cookies, pie, and even bread, but I was not really inspired by any of those options...

Inspiration definitely hit when I stumbled upon a recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies just two days ago - I just couldn't get it out of my head! I had to make them. Yum!

[Side rant: I went to my neighborhood Safeway to get the ingredients for these brownies, and I was disappointed.yet.again. (remember when they didn't have bread flour?) All I wanted was some canned pumpkin. Seems simple, right? But apparently, according to two separate employees, "they discontinued canned pumpkin." Excuse me? Discontinued? I was shocked and asked how they expect people to make pumpkin pie?! They shrugged and said they hope "they" start making it again before Thanksgiving. Are you serious, Safeway? Do I need to call Libby's and file a complaint? I find it very hard to believe that canned pumpkin has been discontinued forever. What kind of excuse is that? Safeway, you are running out of chances in my book. If you weren't a block away from my house, I would never go back again.]

No canned pumpkin. No. Canned. Pumpkin. How the heck was I supposed to make these delicious brownies?! I had already set my mind on making them. I had to have them. So I did something very uncharacteristic of a lazy and impatient baker: I got desperate and I bought a real-live whole pumpkin, roasted it, then pureed it.

I know. I surprise even myself sometimes...

So much extra effort! But it was worth it. And I even got to enjoy roasted pumpkin seeds as a byproduct!

Pumpkin married with chocolate and cheesecake...mmmmm! These brownies were a huge hit. Even Joanna, who as it turns out, doesn't like pumpkin OR cheesecake, really loved the brownies! They are the perfect way to welcome the fall (or celebrate a special 25th birthday!)

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
Adapted from Beantown Baker

  • 3/4 c. melted butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree (I hope they didn't "discontinue" canned pumpkin at your grocery store)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/3 tsp ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Grease an 8x8" square pan (I also lined with parchment paper)

For the brownie batter: beat together melted butter, sugar and vanilla, then add the eggs. Mix the dry ingredients together, then stir into the butter mixture with a spoon.

Beat together the cheesecake batter ingredients in a separate bowl.

Spread about 2/3 of the brownie batter into the pan, then pour the cheesecake batter over it. Spoon the rest of the brownie batter over the cheesecake batter. Swirl the dark and light batters together with a knife (Looks seem to be important with this recipe, but even though my swirls didn't turn out to be so pretty, the brownies were YUMMY)

Bake for 40 minutes, or until center is set. Cool completely on wire rack, then chill for a couple of hours (or overnight) before cutting and serving.

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