Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

So my plan for this week had been three recipes - one from each cookbook.  It's Wednesday, I have dinner plans tomorrow night that involve sushi, and I've only made one recipe ... yeah, it's been that kind of week.  However, I think this post more than makes up for any slacking that might be occurring in the dinner department!

You read the title correctly ... peanut butter, cheesecake, and brownies ... all in one delicious package.  What could be better?  I didn't see the cocoa powder in the text of the recipe, so I skipped it and the brownies were plenty chocolaty.  I used natural peanut butter because the Val-Mont (please come back, Metro!) doesn't sell my childhood favourite.  Similarly, they only seem to sell extra-large eggs, so my eggs were slightly bigger!  I also used crazy organic, probiotic cream cheese because oddly enough it was cheaper there than Philadelphia cream cheese.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies (from Parsley, Sage, Desserts, and Line Drives)

Brownie Layer
7-ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl
250g cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg

1.  Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil or parchment paper, making sure it goes up all four sides. Use two sheets if necessary. Mist with non-stick spray or grease lightly.
2. Stir chocolate and butter in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth; cool 10 minutes. (I just zapped it in the microwave for a minute and then stirred until the chocolate melted ... it also saved me some cooling time.  Just be careful not to scramble the eggs.)  Using electric mixer on low speed, or stir in with a wooden spoon – sugar, eggs, and vanilla into cooled chocolate mixture, until uniform.   Stir/beat in flour, cocoa and salt. Spread half the batter in pan.
1. In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, peanut butter, whole egg or egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  DO NOT OVER BEAT!
1. Drop large spoonfuls of the peanut butter cheesecake batter across the top of the first layer of brownie batter. Don’t swirl them together.  Cover the peanut butter dollops with the remaining brownie batter add the remaining peanut butter cheesecake batter in dollops, then take a knife, spatula, spoon handle, or whatever you have on hand that can ‘swirl’ well, and swirl the TOP layer of peanut butter cheesecake batter with the brownie mixture. Lift up some of the brownie batter to insure the brownie mixture swirls in as much as possible, since it can be little heavier than the peanut butter cheesecake batter, depending on whether you use a whole egg or just the yolk.  As mentioned above, it’s ok if some of the first layer of both batters swirl also, just not too much.  (Mine wasn't layering very well, so I just swirled a lot ... your choice how careful you are!)
2. Bake for 35-37 minutes, or until the batter in the center of the pan feels just set, or a skewer contains a few moist brownie crumbs sticking to it (you would stick the skewer in a chocolate area).

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