Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

These fudgy brownies are a great fall treat. They are like having pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and brownies all in one bite!

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I have seen so many recipes for pumpkin swirl cheesecake brownies that it is not even funny! So, why would you try this recipe? Well, these brownies use some wholesome ingredients and yet they taste so rich and fudgy. They are not only sweetened with sugar but also with some honey. I really am trying to use less refined sugar in my baking and cooking lately. The fudginess of the brownies come from not using a lot of flour. I chose to use whole wheat flour but if you are gluten free you can definietely use oat flour ( just grind up some rolled oats in your food processor). I did not want just to make cream cheese brownies but add some nutrition to the yummy cheesecake flavor. I have already talked about how pumpkin is good for you in my last post, but I don’t mind talking about it again. Pumpkin is an antioxidant, has vitamin A and C in it and is also full of fiber. The chocolate ganache takes these brownies to a whole new level of intense chocolate flavor. The texture of this topping of ganache is so soft and fudgy and really takes no effort. It is a lot easier that making buttercream ( and there is no refined sugar ).

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The way these brownies are added to the pan and cooked make all the difference in the world. You add the brownie batter and cream cheese in two additions before swirling them around and you bake them just until the a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs. If you wait until the toothpick comes out clean then they will be over cooked. These may not be fat free brownies but they are baked with a bit healthier ingredients and definitely worth all the cardio!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

Ingredients

Brownie Base

2/3 cup of whole wheat flour ( or the flour of your choice )

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

8 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/2 honey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling

8 ounces less fat cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg yolk

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Chocolate ganache

1 2/3 cups semi sweet chocolate ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half

Directions

  1. For the brownie base: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325. Make a foil sling by folding 2 long sheet of aluminum foil. Lay the sheets of foil so they are perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over the edges of the pan. Push the foil  into the corners and up the sides of the pan. Grease foil and set aside.
  2. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a small until combined.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter in a microwave at 50 percent power for 1 to 2 minutes. Stirring at every minute until melted. Add the sugar, honey, and vanilla, and then whisk in the eggs one at a time. Continue whisking until the mixture is completely smooth. Add dry ingredients and just mix until combined.
  4. For the pumpkin cream cheese filling: Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla,  and egg yolk until combined. Add in the pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir.
  5. Transfer half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan and then dollop half of the cream cheese mixture on top. Pour rest of the brownie batter on top of the cream cheese and then dollop the rest of the cream cheese mixture on top. Take a knife and swirl the batter around.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes.
  7. While the brownies bake make the chocolate ganache. In a medium microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate with the cream. Start with 2 minutes and stir then keep heating in 15 second increments until completely smooth.
  8. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then take the foil sling out of pan and let cool to room temperature about 1 hour.  Top the brownies with the chocolate ganache. Then cool in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight. You could even speed up the process by putting them in the freezer for about 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Cut into squares and enjoy!
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