Saturday, August 28, 2010

Brownie Cheesecake: Take One

My mom, being the lovely woman that she is, randomly will buy brownie mix for no reason. When I see this I get very excited. I love brownies and while I don't mind making them from scratch, the box makes pretty darn good brownies. I made brownies about a month ago so I wanted to try something different this time around.

After checking my usual food sites (, Tasty Kitchen, Food Network and Taste of Home,) I checked in with (formerly Recipezaar.) This is a newer site so the amount of tested recipes is lower than at Allrecipes. Still there were several brownie recipes that looked tempting.

The only problem I came across is the number of brownie recipes that are paired with peanut butter. If Brandon and I were still living on our own this would be no big deal. We love peanut butter and there are several recipes that I saved that I will be making one day. Unfortunately we are also living with my brother and he is allergic to peanuts. That ruled out an awful lot of brownie recipes.

Just when I was starting to think that I should just make regular brownies, I came across this recipe. The original called for cherry pie filling. While I am somewhat ok with apple pie filling from a can, I do not like cherries at all and the thought of pie filling did not sound good to me, so I just omitted it. One reviewer said that the pie filling starts to liquefy the cheesecake layer so I am glad I got rid of it all together.

Here is the recipe and my thoughts will follow:

1 (19 1/2 ounce) box of brownie mix or a brownie recipe that fills a 13X9 inch pan
1/2 cup Oil
1/4 cup Water
2 Eggs

2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 egg
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk*
8 ounces Cream Cheese

Heat the oven to 350
°. Grease a 13X9 inch pan
Combine the first four ingredients just until all of the dry mix is moistened.
Spread into the pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, beat the remaining ingredient until smooth and creamy.
Pour over the partially baked brownie.
Bake until topping is set, about 25 minutes.
Cool and refrigerate until cold**

*Condensed milk is ridiculously expensive. The only ingredients are milk and sugar. When I got back from the store I checked, and there is a recipe for homemade condensed milk. If any of you have done this, please let me know how it turn out. I plan to make this in the next few months so I will make a post about it.

**I ate the bars while they were still warm. Let them chill, it will taste more like cheesecake.

Let's look at some photos before we get to my thoughts on this recipe, shall we?

The far shot.

The close up.

Now for my thoughts:
I liked it. But. The cheesecake layer isn't as tasty as it could be. It is not sweet enough and just doesn't quite taste like cheesecake.

My plan? To make this again using a regular cheesecake recipe for the topping. I am going to have to cut it down by about a third but I think I can make it work.

My other plan? To bake this in a springform pan with either a pumpkin cheesecake or cinnamon cheesecake layer and serve it for Thanksgiving. I am very excited about this!

When brownie mix goes on sale I will buy several boxes and try to create a new recipe out of this. Stay tuned for "Brownie Cheesecake: Take Two!" (in like a month or two...)

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