This decadent and fulfilling seasonal treat combines two much-loved favorites: cheesecake and brownies. And then we upped the autumn factor by creating a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie. What’s not to love?
Who’s excited for another round of Comfort in 1?
This month, we’re celebrating pumpkins! ‘Tis the season for pumpkin goodies, after all. And we’ve got some delectable recipes coming y’all’s way today (and this weekend.)
Don’t know what Comfort in 1 is? No problem! Check out our information here.
Interested in participating? Join in on the fun here.
We’ll be sharing pumpkin-centric recipes through the end of October, and we’ll share our PECAN (!!!) recipes from November 17th to the end of the month, so if you’re brainstorming some good pecan-centric goodies for November, please join us!
When Rachel and I were discussing what to make for this month’s Comfort in 1, we quickly decided we wanted to work with pumpkin. How could we not?
After all, October is the perfect time for all kinds of pumpkin sweets, breakfasts and treats. And who doesn’t love a fresh take on a pumpkin dish this time of year, especially as Halloween draws near and the temperatures begin to dip?
So. Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars…
These beauties started out as a seasonal take on my insanely delicious and addictive Ooey Gooey Bars and turned into something entirely different as they baked, forming a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie.
They’re decadent, that’s for sure, but they’re kind of perfect for this time of year… and they’re definitely perfect for Comfort in 1.
These Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars are a comforting dessert, which can be eaten warm or cold. I, personally, prefer them warm, though my husband has been taking slices of these bars out of the fridge and eating them cooled without an issue.
Serve the bars up at the temperature you like along with a huge glass of milk, and you’re good to go.
Here’s how you can make these beauts:
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars
- 4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate (four 1 oz. squares)
- 6 oz. 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 oz. cream cheese , softened
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips
- A sprinkle of ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13" baking dish with parchment paper, and grease well.
- Measure the baking chocolate and dark chocolate chips into a medium-sized glass bowl. Add the butter and applesauce. Heat in the microwave for 10-15 second increments to melt the chocolate, stirring after each round of heating until the chocolate/butter/applesauce mixture is melted and smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, crack the eggs, add the sugar and vanilla and beat with a hand mixer until the mixture creamy and light.
- If the chocolate mixture is still hot, temper the egg mixture, then pour the rest of the chocolate into the egg mixture, mixing until combined.
- Measure in the flour and salt, and using the mixers, beat until combined. This mixture will be very thick.
- Pour the brownie base mixture into the greased baking dish and spread with a rubber spatula until an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- In another bowl, stir the cream cheese and pumpkin together. (Washing the paddles on your hand mixer will come in handy because this step goes faster with the hand mixer.) Beat the mixture until it has lightened and is fluffy.
- Add the eggs to the cream cheese/pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined. Drizzle in the melted butter, and stir until incorporated.
- When the mixture is smooth and well combined, measure in the cinnamon and the powdered sugar gradually, stirring until the ingredients are completed mixed.
- Pour this cheesecake layer on top of the brownie mixture in the pan.
- Spread the additional chocolate chips on top of cheesecake layer evenly. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set.
- Let cool for 30 minutes, then slice into individual bars and enjoy warm or cold!
Please note that my oven is OLD, and your cooking time might be a little different than mine because of this. When your cheesecake bars hit the 35-minute mark, turn on your oven light and look in on them to make sure you don't overcook the cheesecake.