Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

I know. By the time it's safe to leave my home, I'll be rolling out the front door. We haven't left the house since Sunday (except to shovel, shovel and shovel) but it appears that tomorrow schools are open, work is open and we can resume our 'normal' routine. When I do finally get back to work, I'll be armed with a nice big tray of Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies. I was flipping through my holiday recipe file when I came upon this treat from the December 2008 issue of Cooking Light. I looked in the fridge and found I actually had all the ingredients needed (I knew buying a random brick of cream cheese was going to come in handy) so what the heck...snow day calories don't count, right?

These are seriously moist brownies. They are so moist I was almost worried I hadn't cooked them enough. They are a very fudgy brownie - not as cakey as some I've tried...more...what's the word? Oh yeah. Moist. The peppermint cheesecake is a nice surprise. You're eating a perfectly wonderful (and did I mention moist?) chocolate brownie when suddenly, yum! Peppermint cheesecake! So hopefully these do the trick and get everyone in the office over the disappointment of having to miss work for three days. The two day work week...think that will catch on?

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

Cheesecake batter:
  • 1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Brownie batter:
  • 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • Cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare cheesecake batter, place cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar and peppermint extract; beat well. Add 1 egg and 1 egg white; beat well. Add 1 tablespoon flour; beat mixture just until blended.

3. To prepare brownie batter, weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces (about 1 cup) flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 4.5 ounces flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, 2 egg whites, and 1 egg in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended. Add flour mixture to brown sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended.

4. Reserve 1/2 cup of brownie batter. Pour remaining batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Carefully pour cheesecake batter over top; spread evenly to edges. Dot cheesecake batter with reserved brownie batter. Swirl top two layers of batters together using the tip of a knife. Bake at 350° for 26 minutes or until top is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

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