Friday, October 13, 2017

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filled Brownies

It’s fall, and the world becomes crazy for pumpkin. If you read this blog regularly, you might remember that I don’t like pumpkin very much. Yet I feel compelled to make a couple of pumpkin things each year. I don’t like that pumpkin tends to lend a sticky feel to anything you bake with it, so my goal is to find recipes where that sticky texture in minimized. I’ve found a couple of recipes that I think will be great.

This recipe only calls for ½ cup of pumpkin, so I figured that it would lend the flavor of pumpkin without the strange texture. You mix the pumpkin with cream cheese and pumpkin pie spice, which then becomes the filling of a lovely brownie. Pumpkin pie spice is simply a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. I thought I had some on hand, but I didn’t so I was able to just use my own combination of spices. I sometimes also use Chinese five spice powder, which I find to be very interesting in recipes.

These bars take some time, as you need to allow them to cool completely before topping with ganache and cutting into bars. I made the bars one day, put them in the refrigerator, and then finished them the next. This was very convenient, and worked the best for me as I had other plans the night I typically bake. These cut beautifully (use a warm knife so that the cuts are clean). The spicy flavor of the filling pairs so well with dark chocolate brownie. As someone who doesn’t like pumpkin all that much, these are so good and I can’t wait to make them again!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filled Brownies
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, shortening, sugar, and brown sugar on medium until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture and stir just until combined.

Divide the dough in halves. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Make the filling: in a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium until smooth. Add the egg, pumpkin puree and pie spice and mix on medium until smooth. Spread the filling over the dough in the pan. Top with the remaining dough, covering the pumpkin filling as much as possible. The top layer won’t be perfect.

Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the bars to cool for 2 hours before topping.

Make the ganache topping. Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Microwave the cream for 45-60 seconds, just before it boils. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk the mixture, until it becomes dark and shiny. Pour the ganache over the cooled bars. Allow the chocolate to set for about 2 hours before cutting into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Recipe from Inside BruCrew Life

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