Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
For chocolate brownie batter:
-1/2 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons butter
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking powder
For pumpkin cheescake batter:
-1 (8-oz) container cream cheese, whipped or regular
-1 (15-ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1-1/2 teaspoons each of cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger
-1 cup brown (or granulated) sugar
-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the top:
-1/4 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, soften 1/2 cup PLUS two tablespoons butter. Add one cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Cream together.
Crack two eggs and beat them into the mixture. Once large lumps are worked out, stir in 1/4 cup unsweetened baker’s cocoa.
Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Stir again. Fold in 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and set mixing bowl aside.
(Well, take a big finger-lick-swipe and then set aside.)
In a second mixing bowl, prepare the pumpkin cheese filling.
Chef’s Note: If you prefer your brownies more on the chocolatey side, only use half of this filling. For a more equally blended brownie like mine, use closer to *all* of it in the layering stage described later.
Combine 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (I used the whipped kind, but either will do) with 1 can solid-pack pumpkin and about 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and beat until somewhat smooth. Or at least all the same general color.
Beat in 1 egg and sprinkle in your desired spices. I used about 1-1/2 teaspoons each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. (You could also use allspice, cloves, mace, anise, cardamom, or whatever else you like.)
Dump in 1 cup brown (or granulated) sugar and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Mix well. Add 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and stir again to finish it off.
Lightly spray a rectangular brownie pan. Make sure you have a separate spoon for each of the two batters. Starting with the chocolate batter, spoon several blobs into the base of the brownie pan. Follow with several spoonfuls of the pumpkin batters, spread out around the pan. Keep alternating until pan is about 1/2 full of batter. When finished, create an easy marbled effect by zooming a butter knife around the top to smear the two batters together.
If desired (and you know you do), top with a good sprinkling (1/4 cup) of miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Bake for 30 -40 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean from one of the more chocolatey-looking pockets.
Allow to cool at least 15 minutes in the pan before slicing and serving. Refrigerated brownies slice up beautifully later!