This year my younger son asked for brownies instead of cake at his birthday party. This summarizes his dessert preference in a nutshell: he doesn’t like frosting and he wants to maximize the rich, fudgy chocolate treat instead. We did not top his birthday brownies with pumpkin cheesecake; though he had contemplated adding a Rice Krispy Treat on top as a second layer. But that is a whole different post. This is a great seasonal dessert recipe that is quick to whip up, easy enough for kids to make and works well for gatherings big and small. This is a must try recipe for all brownie lovers out there.
- For the Brownie Layer:
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon balking powder
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
- For the Pumpkin Layer:
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper leaving enough for overhang. The easiest way to do this is to cut two separate pieces and cross them. Lightly oil the parchment paper and set aside.
- Step 2 For the Brownie Layer: In a small saucepan, heat the butter and sugar until melted. Set aside.
- Step 3 Using a kitchen mixer, such as a KitchenAid, fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the eggs, cocoa, salt, vanilla extract and baking powder and mix well till incorporated.
- Step 4 With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and sugar-butter mixture alternating.
- Step 5 Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Step 6 Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared baking pan and using a rubber spatula smooth out evenly in the pan. Set aside.
- Step 7 For the Pumpkin Layer: Clean the bowl of the kitchen mixer and wipe dry. Add the softened cream cheese and sugar and beat on high for two minutes, till well combined. Add the egg and pumpkin puree and mix to incorporate.
- Step 8 With the mixer on low, add the vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Mix well.
- Step 9 Pour the pumpkin mixture over the brownie layer. using a teaspoon, make rounded scoops into the pumpkin and brownie layers turning to expose some of the brownie. Repeat making scoops ever 2 inches until the entire pan has several brownie sections visible.
- Step 10 Place in the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes until firm. Allow to cool completely before slicing.