Archive for the ‘Cheesecake’ Category

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

October 3, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake BrowniesYesterday I visited some friends who always enjoy the homemade things I bring them. I wanted to make something with the taste of autumn. I was tempted to make our favorite pumpkin bars since I’ve never posted them on the blog, but when Anna at Cookie Madness blogged about her Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies I couldn’t get them out of my head and had to make them.

Have you ever had a time in the kitchen when you thought you should just give up!? Friday evening was one of those times. I failed to look at the recipe before I went to the store on Friday afternoon and tried to shop for the recipe from memory. I didn’t do so well, but fortunately my husband remembered a half package of cream cheese in the refrigerator that I had forgotten about so the fact that I didn’t buy enough cream cheese didn’t end up being an issue. I started out thinking I had also blown it by not buying more chocolate and after fussing over how to make do with what I had Anna graciously pointed out via email that the recipe actually calls for chocolate chips not regular chocolate so I was fine there too. So, mies en place (or so I thought) I whipped these brownies together. The recipe isn’t difficult unless you make it that way as I did late Friday evening. Once the brownies were in the oven I realized that I put in the entire package of chocolate chips instead of the 9 ounces it calls for. I banged my head against the wall and decided, ‘whatever!’.  If they were a disaster I’d keep it to myself and move on.

The good news is that they weren’t a disaster! I can’t compare them to the original recipe, but I can say that the extra 3 ounces of chocolate didn’t seem to hurt them a bit. The  brownie and pumpkin cheesecake are a nice combo. The cheesecake is smooth, creamy and lightly spiced. The brownie part is rich and chocolaty with a slightly flaky top.

My friends and husband all seem to love these. I was tempted to put in some cayenne or chipotle powder to ramp them up a bit but the way things were going it’s good I didn’t.

You’ll find the recipe at Cookie Madness.

Cheesecake Brownies

September 24, 2010

It’s time to clear the cobwebs, and post something on this much neglected blog. I have a good excuse for the neglect. This summer I fell in love again with bicycling. I used to bike a lot but got away from it and haven’t biked much  in at least 15 years. I fell hard, bought a new bike and get out whenever the weather and my schedule cooperate. That leaves less time for baking and even less time for blogging, but the biking is really good for me and I love it.

Yesterday Anna at Cookie Madness got my attention with some cheesecake brownies. It occurred to me as I was reading her post that I’ve never made cheesecake brownies. Say what!? How can that be? Brownies, yes! Cheesecake, yes! Why haven’t I put them together?

There are a lot of recipes out there for cheesecake brownies. After some surfing around the web, and leafing through some cookbooks from my shelves I decided to give David Lebovitz’s Cheesecake Brownies a go. I think this combination is a culinary marriage made in heaven.

The real hoot is I that I didn’t use high end chocolate for these. I used Baker’s Semi Sweet chocolate, Penzey’s Dutch Process Cocoa, regular butter, and Nestle’s Chocolate Chips. I haven’t purchased Nestle’s chips in years but they were dirt cheap last week and I figured what the heck. They’d be convenient to have on hand and to save a few bucks I could use them for awhile instead of my favorite Guittard chocolate chips. Since I used salted butter I omitted the salt all together.

I thought for sure I had a 9×9 inch baking pan, but it turns out that all of my square pans are 8×8 inches. By the time I dolloped the cream cheese on top of the brownie mixture it was completely covered in my too small pan so swirling became almost impossible. You’ll notice that mine look more like cheesecake topped brownies. Do not let this stop you from making these. The texture of the cheesecake is smooth and satisfying and the perfect foil to the rich, sweet, dense brownie. Next time I will be sure I’ve added a 9×9 inch pan to my bakeware arsenal, but if all I had was the smaller 8×8 pan, I wouldn’t let it stop me from making these.

Cheesecake Brownies

Cheesecake Brownies

The photo above was taken out on my porch in the waning light of the day. I hope to get a chance tomorrow to take better photos.

If you’re looking for a great cheesecake brownie recipe, look no further than page 195  in David Lebovitz’s book, Ready for Dessert. You can also find the recipe on his blog.  This is the third recipe I’ve made from Ready for Dessert and each of the recipes has been absolutely excellent. The caramel ice cream redefined caramel ice cream at our house, and the chocolate chip cookies are one of the most excellent chocolate and pecan delivery systems I’ve had the pleasure to eat.

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

November 29, 2009

Do you spend hours looking at recipes on the Internet? I’m embarrassed to admit that I do. I love looking at food blogs, and food sites. I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to decide what to make for dessert for Thanksgiving. I grew up with Graham Cracker Cream Pie. Have you ever heard of it? It’s a simple affair. A graham cracker crust, vanilla pudding like filling and a meringue top. I don’t know why it’s called graham cracker cream when it has a meringue top, but it is. This year I wanted to shake things up a bit and make something different, but still pleasing. My plan was to make some kind of pumpkin cheesecake, and apple pie. The search for the best sounding pumpkin cheesecake recipe began, and then I couldn’t stop. I even asked my husband and friends to intervene because I couldn’t pull myself away. I wanted a cheesecake that wasn’t mousse like, or pie like. Finally, I decided to turn to Cook’s Illustrated. The recipes are tested repeatedly, and are reliable. I also liked the that this seemed as if it would be more like cheesecake and less like pie or mousse.

The result? This was awesome. Awesome is a much overused adjective but I beg your pardon and use it here. I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. I can eat it, but I only make it to make other people happy. This dessert was loved by everyone including me, and no one missed the pumpkin pie. It was a very special treat, and such a nice change from the usual.

You should be able to see the recipe here. If you can’t let me know.

I served it with topping, but this is the last piece and it’s a couple of days later, hence no topping for the photo.