This post was originally published here on October 27, 2014. I’ve since updated the images and text, because they needed a bit of a facelift. Enjoy!
I am apparently devoid of all creativity when it comes to pumpkin recipes. My brief history of blogging would suggest that the only thing I can think to do with pumpkin is mix it with cream cheese in some form or another. To make my case, I present you with exhibit A, a recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. Also exhibit B, a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes. And finally exhibit C, today’s recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies.
I’ll try to branch out a little bit more next time. Sorry I suck at this whole recipe development thing.
I’m totally obsessed with these Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies. And I know you’ll be too. They bake up nice and thick. They are super moist (sorry/not sorry) and fudgy. And they aren’t overly sweet. The cream cheese and bourbon help to take the sweetness down a notch, making these squares perfectly balanced. Oh and if you want to add a little salty kick, you can even sprinkle a few pinches of flaky sea salt over the top right when the brownies come out of the oven and are still warm. It’s so good!
I also just love the swoops and swirls of the two intermingling layer. It’s almost hypnotic to look at them. Kind of like brownie art. And don’t they seem like they’re all dressed up and ready to go out to a Halloween party?
Speaking of being dressed up, what are you all being for Halloween this year? Tell me! I need suggestions. Because my creativity for Halloween costumes is right up there with my creativity for pumpkin recipes. Virtually non-existent.
Recipe slightly adapted from The Bojon Gourmet
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
- For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
- 8 ounces (about 1 cup) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. allspice
- 1/8 tsp. cloves
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- For the Brownie Layer
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 7 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 X 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving a couples inches overhanging on all sides. Lightly spray the parchment paper/foil with non-stick spray and set it aside.
- Spread the pumpkin puree out to a 1/4-inch thickness onto a stack of paper towels. Layer a few more paper towels on top of the pumpkin puree and press down gently. Set aside and let the pumpkin drain of excess moisture while you make the rest of the cheesecake batter.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in all the spices, salt, egg and vanilla extract. Peel the paper towels off the pumpkin puree and scrape the pumpkin puree into your stand mixer. Beat until it’s well combined with the cream cheese mixture. Place the pumpkin cheesecake batter in your refrigerator while you make the brownie batter.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in 4 ounces of the chopped chocolate. Once it’s melted, remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the sugar. Then whisk in the eggs, bourbon and vanilla extract. Whisk in the flour, cocoa powder and salt until smooth. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate.
- Pour about 3/4 of the brownie batter into your prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly. Then gently pour all of the pumpkin cheesecake batter evenly over top of the brownie batter. Dollop the remaining brownie batter on top of the pumpkin cheesecake layer. Drag the tip of a knife through the batter to create a swirly pattern.
- Transfer the brownies to your pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes, rotating the pan once half way through baking. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once the brownies have cooled to room temperature, set them in your refrigerator to chill for about 2 hours.
- After they have chilled, lift the brownies out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper/foil. Cut into squares and enjoy. These brownies can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.
1. If you want a salty bite, you can sprinkle the tops of the brownies with a few pinches of flaky sea salt just as they come out of the oven.