Happy Endings

At first glance, these decadent brownies might seem like something you should have put together over the holidays. However, there's really something to be said for pacing yourself and leaving some of the special richness that seems reserved for times of great celebration, like the holidays, for those days after all the festivities have come to an end and winter starts to spread a certain amount of grey over the weeks and months ahead.

These brownies are just the ticket for breaking that icy sheet. Add a little celebration to your home after the holidays and discover one of many ways to make the long winter march something with a little more pep in its step!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

For the brownie batter:

  • 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

For the cheesecake batter:

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. each ground allspice and ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 8x8” baking pan with baking spray.

For the brownies: Beat together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl, and then gradually stir the mixture into the butter mixture by hand.

For the cheesecake: In another bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the remaining ingredients until smooth.

Spread about 2/3 of the chocolate brownie batter into the prepared pan. Spread the pumpkin cheesecake batter evenly over the top. Drop the remaining brownie batter over the cheesecake batter. To make the swirls, run a knife back and forth through the pan.

Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until a tooth­pick inserted in the center comes out clean and there's no jiggle when you nudge the pan. Cool the dessert completely and chill in the refrigerator before cutting and serving.

  • Yields: 8-12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour, plus cooling and chilling time