As I mentioned before, carving pumpkins is an annual tradition around here. The kids love going out to pick their own pumpkins and then we make an event of the carving. We do pizza, sometimes homemade, sometimes pumpkin from Papa Murphy's. And I always remember to do a pumpkin dessert. We've bounced back and forth from muffins to pumpkin pie cake to finding a pumpkin cheesecake brownie this year.
Honestly I think these Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies are to die for. My husband is always skeptical of pumpkin brownies. We've tried enough recipes to know that most of them do not come out gooey like traditional brownies and that's what he likes. If I say "brownies," he wants goo. So to say that he was wary of trying these would be an understatement. However, as we were working together on the recipe, I knew I had him won over when he tasted the pumpkin mix and his rolled into the back of his head.
Since my love language is food, I'm filing this one away in my cookbook. I'm sure we'll make another batch this fall, but seriously, these are dangerous.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
(from Beantown Baker)
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp each ground ginger and ground cloves
(I used pumpkin pie spice in place of the spices)
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8" square metal baking pan.
Beat together melted butter, sugar, and vanilla, then beat in eggs one at a time. Combine dry ingredients and then gradually stir into butter mixture with a wooden spoon. In separate bowl, beat together cheesecake batter ingredients.
Spread about 2/3 of chocolate batter into prepared pan, and spoon cheesecake batter over. Dollop remaining brownie batter over cheesecake batter. Swirl the batters together by running a butter knife back and forth through the pan.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until center is set. Cool completely on wire rack and chill before cutting and serving.
We also toasted our pumpkin seeds for the first time this year. Really! I don't know why I didn't try this before. They were so good.
I took one batch and mixed with olive oil to coat and then seasoned with cinnamon and sugar.
The other batch was soaked in salt water. Later we mixed them with olive oil, then they were seasoned with cayenne, cumin, sugar, and ginger.
I sprayed a cookie sheet for each batch with non-stick cooking spray and popped them in an oven @ 350 degrees for 30-40 min, turning every 10 min. Make sure you have a single layer of seeds and they're not all bunched together. And watch them at the end so they don't burn.
We all had our favorites. I like the sweet and spicy ones while the kids love the sweet ones. The cayenne got to spicy for them. But they are so good. I'd love to do them year round. They make a great snack food and are so easy. We'll definitely be making this a new family tradition.
*Don't forget to check out this week's giveaway: Real Food on a Real Budget. You'll love it!