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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Bars

peanut butter brownies
Can we talk about baby girl clothes? Ugh, such a guilty pleasure. For so long I was completely convinced that I was having a boy and I was excited at the prospect for a lot of reasons, but a small part of me mourned the fact that I wouldn't be shopping for pink clothing and bows and butt ruffles. Color me surprised, of course, when February 2nd came along and our baby GIRL arrived. Visions of little dresses immediately danced in my head! Needless to say, I've had a lot of fun shopping for Brecken over the last few weeks and my mother-in-law commented that it's like I'm dressing a Barbie every day ;) Come to think of it, when my sister and I played Barbies, all we really ever did was change their clothes a million times!
cheesecake browniesPin It
Baby girl clothes really have nothing to do with brownies, except I'd say they're another guilty pleasure...especially when they contain a peanut butter cheesecake layer! As soon as I saw these brownies on Joanne's blog, I knew I needed to make them asap. Cut 'em small and serve them cold. If you're the type who loves a glass of milk with your chocolate dessert, these are the perfect accompaniment!
cheesecake brownies
As little Miss Brecken outgrows some of my favorite newborn outfits, you can probably find me crying in a corner stuffing my face with these brownies! Slow down baby girl!
One Year Ago: Chickpea Curry and Egg & Hash Brown Casserole with Spinach and Mushrooms
Two Years Ago: Braided Garlic Herb Bread and Peanut Butter and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels  
Three Years Ago: Apple Cranberry Baked French Toast and Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies 
Four Years Ago: Golden Grahams S'mores Bars and Baby Blue Party Punch

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Bars
as seen on Eats Well with Others

for the brownies-
-3/4 cup butter
-6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-3 large eggs
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

for the peanut butter cheesecake-
-8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
-1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
-1 egg
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup creamy peanut butter

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate for the brownies. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. Stir, and continue to microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until the butter and chocolate are melted.
3. Whisk the sugars into the chocolate before mixing in the vanilla and eggs, until well-combined. Stir in the flour, mixing just until combined.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and set aside.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Mix in the egg, sugar, salt, and vanilla on high for 2 minutes. Mix in the peanut butter, beating on high for 2 minutes. Spread the cream cheese layer over the brownie layer, spreading to cover the whole pan.
6. Bake for 38-42 minutes, until the top is golden and the center is set but still a bit loose (will continue to cook as it cools). Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least one hour before covering and refrigerating for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Cut into squares and serve.