We kicked off the month of December with the spirit of giving. This is my first year participating directly in charities that give Christmas gifts to families who otherwise may not receive them - and I love it! My unit at work has "adopted" a family in the need for the holidays, signing up to purchase specific gifts for the family members, ranging anywhere from household cleaning products to Lego toys. Additionally our small group through church participated in Angel Tree, an organization that helps children with an incarcerated parent feel loved, valued, and not forgotten by their parent far away. One of the ways they do this is by gifting the child presents on behalf of the parent. Angel Tree provides some categories of the children's interests, such as arts & crafts or pretend play, but when you standing in the plethora of toys at Target it's HARD to narrow down all the choices and decide what to get for each child! Like seriously, were there this many toys out when I was growing up?? It was especially difficult because our group wanted to utilize our money wisely in order to make it go as far as possible for each child. I spent a few hours wrapping and organizing each present for each child - so much scrape paper, ribbons, and bows everywhere! It would have been wonderful to see all of the children's faces when they unwrapped their gifts, but just knowing that the gifts would make them feel loved is all the satisfaction I could ask for! Now I'm looking for more ways to give, so if you know of anymore organizations or ideas - let me know!
So now down to this dessert. Do you know what butterscotch + cheesecake + brownies equal? MAGIC, that's what! I am a major fan of brownies, and I'm not talking about cakey-brownies. No, I'm talking about rich, fudgey brownies! So when I combined my favorite type of brownies with cheesecake, it created a very rich treat. Seriously. When I took these brownies to work, I cut each of the squares you see into quarters, because they are that rich. But everyone loved them nonetheless!
The brownie layer is thick and fudgey - it's chocolate flavor enhanced by a small addition of coffee into the ingredients. Personally, I am a fan of slightly undercooked brownies because they are so much more gooey in the middle! So, if you are like me be sure to not over bake them. You usually want to err on the side of under-baking because they will continue to bake in the hot pan when removed from the oven.
I made the cheesecake layer relatively simple, but it's the addition of the rich and creamy butterscotch that enhances this layer's flavor. And the thing that will really impress others when they see that you've made these brownies? The swirl design on top! The light brown coloration from the butterscotch against the dark brown coloration from the brownies, with splashes of white coloration from the plain cheesecake portions makes for a stunning and eye-catching dessert.
Butterscotch Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
Prep time:Bake time: Serves: 9
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 6 ounces dark chocolate
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 4 eggs, divided
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 ounces butterscotch chips, melted
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8"x8" pan with cooking spray. Fit a piece of parchment paper in the pan so that it only hangs over 2 opposite sides (this will make removing the brownies easier). Press the parchment paper down so that it sticks in place. Lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
- Make the brownies: melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a double broiler**
- Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl and wipe away the condensation underneath. Whisk in 1 cup granulated sugar.
- Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time.
- Stir in the instant coffee and salt.
- Fold in the flour and cocoa, then set the bowl aside.
- Make the cheesecake layer: in a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 1/3 cup granulated sugar until combined. Then beat an additional 3 minutes until smooth.
- Mix in an egg until well combined.
- Remove half of the mixture and place it in a separate bowl.
- Stir the butterscotch into one of the cheesecake bowls.
- To assemble the brownies, pour 3/4th of the brownie mixture into the pre-lined pan. Alternate dropping dollops of the plain cheesecake, butterscotch cheesecake, and the remaining brownie mixture. Using a toothpick, draw lines vertically then horizontally in the batter, alternating the direction with each stroke, creating a pattern.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden and an inserted toothpick is free of brownie batter. Let cool in the pan, then lift the brownies out by using the overhanging parchment paper.