I mentioned quite a while back that my kitchen aide mixer finally gave up on me and died. Well, I’ve yet to replace it. I’ve been using a cheap-o hand mixer since then, just kind of waiting it out because I am moving back to the States any day now and know that I will have a mixer available for me there. Well! Wouldn’t you know it, fate dealt me a pretty fine hand and threw a baking contest into my lap. The grand prize of this baking contest? A kitchen aide mixer! YES! Now the only thing I have to do is win the contest.
It is being held by the Military AAFES program which is like our version of Walmart. Basically the contest was to create an original recipe that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. There are two grand prize winners, one for baking and one for entrees. NOW, the contest has yet to conclude, but I am so excited about it that I wanted to share with you what I came up with anyways. This is my first time entering any kind of contest so I can barely contain myself with the anticipation.
When I set out to create an original recipe I knew that I had to pick something that had flavors that most people were crazy about. That was a no brainer- the answer was clearly chocolate and peanut butter. At the same time I had to pick a type of dessert that was also very popular and come up with my own spin on it without being so out-of-the-box that people didn’t find it appealing- A brownie riff it was! Now how to incorporate the peanut butter without making it to complex? CHEESECAKE. A lot of people don’t realize how simple it is to come up with a cheesecake layer, but literally all it involves is dumping the ingredients into a food processor and processing for 30 seconds. Done. Too easy, right? My ultimate submission- these gorgeous Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Bars.
Originally I had envisioned them to have more cheesecake than brownie, but in the end I wanted it to be a very simple dessert since I was already pushing the brink of simplicity having to refrigerate the cheesecake for so many hours after baking. So I decided to go with just 1 block of cream cheese, resulting in a cheesecake layer not quite as thick as the brownie base. I STILL think that a larger cheesecake layer would be fantastic. I encourage you guys to see how well doubling the layer works out, maybe adding on an additional 20 minutes or so of baking. I think this recipe could easily be used in a springform pan to achieve a more cheesecake-like look as well. In that situation, I would definitely suggest doubling the cheesecake though.
With a nice chocolate drizzle and some chopped Reeses on top, all in all I think this recipe is GREAT for something so simple. I will keep you posted if I win!! : D
- 1 box brownie mix for an 8″ square pan (such as Ghiradhelli), plus ingredients to make
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- TOPPING (Optional):
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips
- 1 tsp vegetable shortening
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8″ square pan with parchment.
- In a large bowl combine ingredients for box brownie mix. Pour batter into prepared pan; set aside.
- In a food processor, combine cream cheese, egg, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla. Process until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dollop on top of the brownie batter and smooth out top with a spatula. Bake 35-40 minutes until just beginning to brown and center still jiggles slightly. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 4 hours.
- OPTIONAL- In microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening in thirty second intervals, stirring in between. Alternately use double boiler. Drizzle on top of cheesecake and serve.