Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

by Shawnda on November 30, 2011

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Brownies,Chocolate

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

I love chocolate with just about anything. With peanut butter, with cherries, with sea salt, with caramel, and with dulce de leche. With bacon. The chocolate + mint combo doesn’t usually send me running for the kitchen but there’s just something about this time of year that temporarily wins me over.

It’s 70 degrees today but I didn’t let that get in the way of a little Christmas-inspired baking. I opened the windows, cranked up the Christmas music, and hit the kitchen to bake brownies. And if you happened to walk by my house during O Holy Night, I apologize. I don’t really have that kind of range… and I don’t really let it stop me :)

These bad boys consist of a chocolatey brownie that is swirled with a cheesecake mixture flavored with peppermint extract and crushed peppermint candies. It’s rich. It’s sweet. And it’s chock full of holiday spirit.

And sugar.

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

The perfect holiday treat: moist chocolate brownies swirled with peppermint cheesecake.

Ingredients

  • For the brownies:
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • For the peppermint cheesecake swirl:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 10 peppermint candies, unwrapped and finely crushed
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray an 8- or 9-inch square pan with baking spray and set aside.
  3. To make the brownies, place butter and chocolate in a large bowl and microwave for 1 minute.
  4. Stir and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Add sugar and mix to combine.
  6. Add eggs one at a time, whisking in between.
  7. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, and mix just until all dry ingredients are incorporated.
  8. Pour into the prepared pan and spread the batter to cover the bottom of the pan but don't worry about it being even.
  9. To make the cream cheese mixture, beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar together until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  10. Add sugar, egg, and flour and mix.
  11. Add the peppermint extract and crushed peppermint candies to the mixture and mix until evenly distributed.
  12. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, create wells in the top of the brownie batter. Spoon the cheesecake mixture into the wells. Use the tip of a knife to swirl the chocolate and peppermint cheesecake together. (The two batters have slightly different consistencies so use a swirl-and-fold motion to bring the chocolate swirl to the top.)
  13. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, ~45 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes before cutting into 9-16 squares and serving.
  14. Leftovers will keep in a covered cake plate for 3-4 days. They can also be wrapped and frozen.

Notes

Yields: 9-16 servings

Adapted from Everyday Food's Cream Cheese Brownies

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

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