Friday, October 1, 2010

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

We are officially in October! Canadian Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away and I'm getting excited about all the holiday baking that lies just around the corner, especially the holiday cooking magazines and special publications. I look forward to embracing the smells, tastes and comforts of the cooler, fall weather.

When I think of brownie recipes (or bar recipes in general) I usually prefer ones with shorter ingredients lists and uncomplicated instructions. The shorter, the sweeter. I usually flip or click away from brownie recipes that look too long and involved. However, these pretty swirled ones caught my attention and in reality the long ingredient list and seemingly directions aren't so long after all. It goes by pretty quickly and the batters swirl together beautifully to create a satisfyingly elegant, marbled look. The cheesecake topping holds its shape even when sliced, which gives these bars nice, clean edges and a neat presentation. A tastebud warning: Don't expect an overwhelming Peanut Butter flavor to these. The taste is more subtle and closer cheesecake than to peanut butter. I think they are a nice change the more commonly seen over the top peanut butter-packed desserts.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies
9" Square Pan | Bon Appétit, Jan. 2009

Brownie layer:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake layer:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1. For brownie layer: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Grease and line a 9" square pan.

2. Stir chocolate and butter in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth; cool 10 minutes. Using a mixer or a whisk, beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla in medium bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in chocolate mixture then beat in flour and salt. Spread batter in pan.

3. For cheesecake layer: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in cream, then flour. Spread the cheesecake batter over the brownie layer, reserving 1/3 cup of the batter.

4. Place chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on low power in 10-second intervals until chocolate begins to melt, then stir until smooth. Mix chocolate into reserved 1/3 cup cheesecake batter. Drop chocolate batter by heaping teaspoonfuls over the cheesecake layer. Using a thin knife, marble the chocolate and cheesecake layer together.

5. Bake brownies until edges are puffed and center is set, about 40-45 minutes. Cool brownies in pan on rack. Cover; chill fully - at least 1 hour. Serve cold.


Nessa said...

These look yummy!

Danielle said...

Those brownies look delicious! I made similar ones like them except they turned out a bit flat. You're look really good.

scrambledhenfruit said...

These look so good! You can't go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter. :)

Jennifurla said...

I like the swirls, infact - so pretty it looks like art

Brenda said...

I've bookmarked these Tia, they look amazing! All my favourite ingredients.

Koko said...

These look amazing...cheesecake and brownies- epic combo!!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I tend to think recipes that lightly incorporate peanut butter are better than peanut butter overload. So this has the thumbs up from me :)

Jess said...

Bookmarked! These look amazing.

Lynn said...

Oh yum, this looks delicious. I have a feeling I'm going to love your site :) Must go explore some more.