It’s Friday! Woo Wooo Yeahh Yeahhh Woo Wooo Woooooo!
1) Tomorrow a WEDDING is happening!
2) I get to spend time with these clowns – a.k.a my family – a.k.a the farkles. Don’t ask.
My cousin Allison is getting married to Neil. They’re story is one of my faves. Al moved to Dublin to channel her inner Irish self a couple years after college – she met Neil, a legit Irishman who might be one the nicest guys I’ve ever met in my life – they fell in love – last year they got engaged in Budapest (NBD) and tomorrow they’re getting married! I’m picturing a lot of jigging on the dance floor and a lot of guinness consumption, but mostly, lots of laughs and fist pumps with family and friends!
I’ll be honest – there’s no correlation between Al and Neil nuptials and these Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies, but nevertheless, they were amazingly easy to make (primarily cuz’ I cheated – cheaters DID prosper in this case!) and amazingly delicious.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
*Cheescake portion adapted from A Taste of Home
Your favorite boxed brownie mix, prepared according to instructions
1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees (or whatever temperature the box says)
2) Prepare your brownie batter and set aside.
3) For cheesecake batter, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Beat in the sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined.
4) Line a 12-muffin tin with paper baking cups. Fill the bottom about 1/3 of the way with brownie batter. Then place another 1/3 of pumpkin cheesecake batter on the top, and then top the last 1/3 with the brownie batter. Take a knife and swirl the pumpkin cheesecake and brownie batter together so they look ‘swirly’.
5) Bake for about 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
*You could also make these as just a standard pan of brownies by again, following the instructions on the box for the different pan sizes and following the same method of brownie batter/pumpkin cheesecake layering and swirling.
My only change would be maybe alternating the pattern and doing cheesecake/brownie/cheesecake next time, as to make them a little more pumpkin flavored. But it’s totally up to you, depending on what flavor you prefer.
Next week is Halloween – BOOOOO!
Ok – a little pumpkin break. Time to feature another ‘fall’star – APPLES!
Probably one of my top 3 favorite things about Fall is apple picking. Walking up and down rows and rows of tree after tree, full of big juicy apples just waiting to be yanked off their branch, tossed into a bag and brought home to your kitchen. The possibilities are endless: apple crisp, apple pie, caramel apples, apple sauce, apple strudel. Freshly picked apples are PERFECT for these Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars!
But….I have yet to go apple picking so…
…I used canned apple pie filling 😦 Betty said it was ok!
1) Easy to make with minimal steps & ingredients
2) A great base for any cheesecake/streusel dessert – you could probably use just about any fruit with this
3) FREAKING delicious
Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars
*From Betty Crocker – love her
1 pouch Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 – 21oz can apple pie filling
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1) Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.
2) Place cookie mix in large bowl. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and coarse. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture; press remaining crumbs in bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes
3) Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
4) Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over partially baked crust. In medium bowl, mix pie filling and cinnamon. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top.
5) Bake 35 to 40 minutes longer or until light golden brown. Cool about 30 minutes. Refrigerate to chill, about 2 hours. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to cut into bars.
I had 2 last night, and 3 for breakfast, so I can safely say they are a WINNER!