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Where EAST meets the Northwest

PHOTO CREDIT: Katie Workman via AP

From The Asian Reporter, V26, #22 (November 21, 2016), page 13.

Cooking on deadline: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

By Katie Workman

The Associated Press

I decided to take my favorite brownie recipe, the one I published in The Mom 100 Cookbook a handful of years ago, and turn it into something that says, "Hi, pumpkin season, how’ve you been?"

The bottom layer is a fudgy brownie, dense and with a serious hit of chocolate. The top layer is a creamy pumpkin cheesecake, scented with those great fall spices. Then a bit of the brownie mixture (which you will reserve) is dolloped on top and swirled into the cheesecake mixture for a beautiful, brown and pale orange marbled effect. These are thick and rich and the kind of dessert where you’re going to end up feeling pretty pleased with yourself. It’s a dessert to impress, with no fancy baking techniques required.

You can store the brownies at room temperature in a tightly sealed container for a day, or in the fridge for several days. Let them sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

Makes 24 brownies

For the Brownies:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Pumpkin Cheesecake:

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese,

at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 large eggs

1 cup puréed canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Generously butter or spray a 9"x13" baking pan with non-stick spray.

Make the brownie batter: Melt together the butter and chocolate in a medium size pot over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, then blend in the vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stirring quickly so they don’t have a chance to cook at all before they are blended in. Blend in the flour.

Scrape about 3/4 of the thick batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Set the pan and the remaining brownie batter (about one cup) aside.

Make the pumpkin cheesecake batter: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves and beat, scraping down the sides, until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the pumpkin, cream, and vanilla until smooth. Spread the pumpkin cheesecake batter over the brownie batter in the pan, and then use a tablespoon to dollop remaining brownie batter over the top in spots. Use a dull knife to swirl the mixtures together on top, making sure to leave it very streaky, and not blend too much.

Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the brownies comes out clean.

Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Cut into 24 squares.

Nutritional information per serving: 283 calories (166 calories from fat); 19 g fat (11 g saturated, 1 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 166 mg sodium; 29 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 21 g sugar; 4 g protein.

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