Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake White Chocolate Brownies (★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆)

"Hey, uh, did you know your title is a mouthful?"
Um, ya, I did.  Sorry about that.
"Oh, oh no problem.  But it's just really long...borderline tongue twister.  My two year old couldn't even repeat it back to me."
...uh ...  Sorry? ...  You probably shouldn't be feeding these to your two year old.  Maybe start with something more simple - like cheerios ... -and counting to 5?

Yes, readers.  That WAS random. 

But so was how this "thing" (bar...brownie...whatever you want to call it) happened.

I made these the same day as my Pumpkin Truffles.  I was, honestly, just trying to get rid of the rest of the canned pumpkin I had and this is what happened.

It was like the "Attack of the Living Baked Goods" night in my kitchen. 


I have to back track a little bit.

October was the month of the pumpkin.
Pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin donuts, even pumpkin cereal.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm as "over the moon" excited as the next guy about Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks...but those are in September. When the novelty hasn't worn off.

In September, blog posts like this seem fun, light-hearted and fresh. (Okay it still kind of excites me...but that's beside the point!).

I became the Pumpkin Grinch.

I follow a lot of baking blogs and every one, every day was offering me some other shade of pumpkin.
Muffins, ganache, whipped cream, butter, foot scrubs, and toothpaste were presented to me on a big fat pumpkin platter.

And like all things, it seems good at first...
Oh yeah!  Ideas for fall baking!
But eventually we reach that "special" point.  The one I like to call "overboard."
Suddenly, what once used to bring me joy, now was just plain annoying. 

I was annoyed at having to see the same color food every day.
Annoyed that I had to think about pumpkin in ways I'd rather not - pumpkin seed guacamole??
But mostly I was annoyed that everyone had caught the pumpkin train, but me.  The market had been saturated.  Closed. Full.  Done.    

Okay, I was bitter and jealous!

I couldn't stand another pumpkin recipe, so I grumpily swore I would find "other" more "interesting" things to bake.  

But who am I kidding?  

It's November.  It's fall.  Thanksgiving is near.  
Now's the time we all start dreaming in pumpkin Technicolor.  

My intention was to only do one pumpkin recipe - because I had self-control - but like I told you, my kitchen had a mind of its own.  
The truffles took all of a measly third of a can of pumpkin. 
What on earth was I going to do with the rest?

Being a regular baker, I:
1) Hate wasting things I spent money on and
2) Enjoy double backing my baking efforts. (Bake two similar things in one night means no more baking for the week!)

After the whole truffle "ordeal," I wanted to make something that was drastically easier and a little more my forte - enter the brownie/bar.

I suddenly had visions of pumpkin cream cheese swirl atop a fudgey brownie.  But not a chocolate brownie...oh no - been there - done that.  Pumpkin and chocolate do NOT mix.  Don't argue with me, it's a fact. 

Sure that pumpkin pancake with chocolate chips tasted fine, but how many chocolate chips were in there?  5?  Ya, you act like it's chocolate and pumpkin, but it's really not.  That's the kind of thing you do to your cat when he needs to take medicine.  I'll just crunch a little in his food.  Mix in a couple treats and voila!  Medicine that no longer resembles medicine!

Enter: White chocolate.
Oh that glorious, fatty, un-chocolatey chocolate.
That would go stupendously with pumpkin!

I tore through my pinterest page, and found the white chocolate brownies I had been dying to try.
The stage was set.
But my own eagerness got in the way.

In my attempt to finish off the entire can of pumpkin, I doubled the cream cheese recipe thinking nothing of it.  I'll just have to cook it a little longer.  Sound familiar? (Cake in A Jar, anyone?)

Of course, this is not so. I had to cook them so long that the bottom got a little too brown and the top never quite set all the way. 

But for once, my own independence did not fail me.  Sure the texture was a little off (I fixed the proportions in the recipe below so you can make amazing, sanely proportional P.C.W.C. Brownies), but they tasted pretty good. 

I'm very critical of my baking, but just to paint you a picture of how good these are my mom kept RAVING about these. 
I mean RAVING.
This is the same mom who rolls her eyes every time I tell her I'm going to "veer" from a recipe.
The same mom who looks at me with the perfect amount of disapproval and acceptance of the fact that I'm an adult, when I come home with a huge bag of Hot Cheetos, Animal Cookies, and Thai Bubble Tea and tell her I'm going to go watch a movie.

Ya, that mom.
That mom ate half the batch.
And that's gracious estimating right there.
Pumpkin Cheesecake White Chocolate Brownies (or P.C.W.C.B for short)
adapted from  Nook and Pantry

White Chocolate Brownie Base
  • 1/2 Cup of Butter
  • 5oz. of White Chocolate Chips (Use Nestle)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 5 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup of Flour
  • 1/2 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp of Salt

Pumpkin Cheesecake Top
  • 8oz of Cream Cheese (Use the Block Type)
  • 2/3 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Vanilla
  • 1 Egg, plus one yolk
  • 2/3 Cup Canned Pumpkin Puree

Preheat oven to 325F
Makes approx. 15 good sized brownie/bars
1) Measure out 5oz of white chocolate chips.  You can also use chopped white chocolate if you'd like.
    I bought Ghirardelli, but I was pretty disappointed in the texture.  I've only ever eaten Nestle White
    Chocolate before.  Of course, I figured Ghirardelli would be the best of the best, but I won't be
    buying this brand least in white chocolate chips.
 2) Get 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter and cut into small pieces to help it melt faster.
 3) Melt the white chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring frequently.  Take off heat when just
     completely melted.  (You can use a microwave instead.  Just start with 1 minute then continue
     with 15 second increments until just melted.  Stir well between each heating).
 4) In a medium sized bowl, beat eggs and sugar together.
 5) Beat until fluffy...almost "meringue" like.  Add white chocolate mixture.
6) In a sifter add flour, baking powder, and salt.  Sift over the wet ingredients, mixing occasionally in-
    between adds.
 7) Add vanilla.
 8) Put into a greased 8in x 11in pan (you can use the standard 9in x 13in pan, but just remember they
     will be thinner and will need to cook less).
A) In a medium sized bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  Beat until fluffy.
 B) Add eggs, mix well.
 C) Add pumpkin, beat until just combined.  Pour mixture on top of white chocolate brownie base.
     *Optional: Take a knife and "cut" criss-crosswise the brownie/cheesecake batter in the pan.  This
     will mix some of the elements together and create a "swirl" design on top.  However, because the
     white chocolate and pumpkin are both pale colors the distinction will be slight.  Also if you don't do
     this, the brownie part will be more of a crust instead of a sort of "mixture."  Either way works.  I cut
     mine across a few times, but it didn't work too well as you can tell by the two layers clearly shown    
     in the pictures.
  D) Bake in oven at 325F for about 35 minutes or until cheesecake top is set.  You can test this by
       inserting a toothpick two inches from the edge.  It should come out relatively clean, with no wet

[Cue music]
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream
I love you so and that is why
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream


  1. Hi there, today I am collecting pumpkin recipes. Please do drop me a line on if you are ok with me linking to your post in my blog (Carole's Chatter). Cheers

    1. Hi Carole, thanks for browsing around! You are very welcome to link to these cheesecake bars. I also have Pumpkin Truffles and Pumpkin Bread Pudding Muffins if you are interesting as well!

  2. These look great and I will definitely be making them closer to Thanksgiving (a slight pumpkin break between Halloween and Thanksgiving). are too young to be humming Everly Brothers DREAM.

    1. Haha, I'm a little pumpkin'ed out right now too! And I've always been sort of an "old soul." I love that era of music!