Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Tale of Two Desserts

I didn't mean to make two desserts from one recipe, it just kinda happened. Like kismet or something. I'll start from the beginning.

I was standing in the check-out line at Trader Joe's for the third time this week, because I am like totally an airhead when it comes to grocery shopping recently. I even bring a list and everything, but I still manage to forget one key item. Or, and this so totally frustrates me about TJ's, sometimes they just don't have random items that I like really really really needed. Like canned diced tomatoes. Who runs out of canned diced tomatoes? Um, apparently TJ's did last Tuesday. 


I was patiently waiting to purchase my goods and somehow a tin of TJ's Triple Ginger Snaps made it in my cart. I have no idea how this happened, but it did, and I was so so glad later.

I got on with making my pumpkin cheesecake brownies and wouldn't you know there was more cheesecake than I really wanted to layer on top of the brownies?!? But what's a girl to do with left over pumpkin cheesecake? Then a little light bulb went off in my head. I would use the ginger snaps as the crust in muffin tins to make mini cheesecakes. I am a genius! And my impulse purchase has totally proven itself worthy!! Woot woot.

So off I went. Layering, lining, and pouring, all with a few chocolate chips on top. What could be better? Everything is always made better with a sprinkle of chocolate chips. Except ice cream. I really don't like chocolate chips in my ice cream. I'm weird, I know. 

Into the oven everything went and bam! I made two desserts in the time it took to make one. Take that Martha Stewart!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
Serves 8-10

Brownies:
Use whatever brownie recipe or boxed mix you prefer

1. Grease a 7x9 pan. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Make brownies to the recipe specifications and pour into the pan. Reserve 1/4 of the brownie mixture to swirl on top.

Pumpkin Cheesecake:
2 8oz bars of Cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Pumpkin puree 
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tsp Pumpkin pie spice mix
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl mix the cream cheese, sugar, and pumpkin puree together until smooth. Add the spices, salt, vanillla, and yogurt. Mix until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Mix on high for 1 minute to make the mixture light and fluffy.
2. Pour the cheesecake on top of the brownies. The cheesecake should cover the brownies about 1". I ended up with 1 1/2 cup extra cheesecake, set aside any extra cheesecake. 
3. Swirl the reserved brownie mixture with the pumpkin and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
4. With the remaining cheesecake line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Place a cookie, like a nilla waffer, gingersnap, whatever you have or want on the bottom of the cupcake liner. Fill with 1/3 cup of the cheesecake mixture. I ended up with 6 mini cheesecakes. Sprinkle with a few chocolate chips. 
5. Bake everything at 350F. The mini cheesecake take 25 minutes and the brownies about an 1 hour. The cheesecake should be slightly jiggly in the middle and the brownies set. 


Enjoy!

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