Saturday, September 6, 2008


The original recipe for these brownies looked incredibly decadent, and I am sure they are delicious. But, to save calories and make them more nutritious, I took out a lot of the fat, subbing butternut squash puree for it. I also subbed Stevia for part of the sugar, whole wheat flour for most of the all-purpose, and Neufchatel cheese for the full-fat cream cheese. Are these as good as the original? Probably not, but they're darned good, and carry a lot less guilt. As I've said before, there's no such thing as a healthful dessert, but I like the idea of cutting down and fortifying where I can.

One huge mistake I made: I put the peanut butter cups in the brownies before I baked them. You can do that with cookies, since they don't take very long to bake. But these take about 40 minutes, and that's too long for the PB cups; they melted. I am definitely going to make these again -- they're that good. But next time, I'll put the PB cups on the brownies during the last 5-10 minutes of baking, as Baking Blonde suggests.

Double Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirled Brownies, Adapted
Brownie: 1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 oz. bittersweet chocolate (or baking
chocolate, if preferred)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cup butternut squash (or pumpkin) puree
2 large eggs
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat)
1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. Creme de Cocoa
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Cheesecake: 4 oz. Neufchatel cheese
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tsp. Creme de Cocoa
3/4 cup Reese's PB cups, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a square pan (8x8 or 9x9) with foil, letting the foil hang over the edges. Coat the foil lightly with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Place chocolate in a large mixing bowl and place the bowl in a pan of hot water over medium heat. Melt chocolate. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, butter, and squash, combining well. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients and gradually whisk into chocolate mixture, taking care not to overbeat. Stir in the flavorings.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine cheesecake ingredients, except for egg and PB cups, mixing until smooth. Add egg and beat just till combined.

Spread about 2/3 of brownie batter into pan. Evenly drop 1/2 of cheesecake batter in dollops over brownie batter. Run a knife through both mixtures to slightly swirl. Dollop remaining brownie batter and cheesecake batter over swirled mixture. Run knife through the brownie and cheesecake dollops (taking care not to go through to the previous layer) to creat a swirled pattern. (Note: I didn't follow these instructions. I just put all the brownie batter in, then spooned the cheesecake batter in 3 strips over the brownie batter. Then I swirled that. Next time, I will follow the instructions above, as I think it will make for a better brownie. See the photo below, showing the three strips of cheesecake batter over the brownie batter. There is quite a bit of cheesecake batter in this recipe.)

Bake 35-45 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs. Don't overbake these. About 5-10 minutes before brownies are done, gently place the chopped Reese's over top of brownies. Yield: 16 brownies

1 comment:

Katrina said...

Those look really yummy!