Rut Filling with Pumpkin Goodness

Posted by Adam | Posted in , , | Posted on Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ok, well last post I mentioned a baking rut. My brain has been swimming with school work, plane ticket prices, and trying to save money for a trip I have to take in a few weeks. This weekend is my last free one in the month of October, and after that I'm more booked than the Encyclopedia Brown or Goosebumps. So I needed to snap, crackle, and pop my way out of it. What to do?

A birthday? Say what? Oh man, I almost forgot! Whew, that was a close one. Thank you so very much Facebook for letting me kno... errrr reinforcing the idea that a good friend of mine's birthday is coming up. I swear that little stalker network has saved me countless times :)

So, my rut has been broken, or filled. For the past few years, yours truely has been deemed the birthday dessert maker. Yup, for my close circle of friends, I ask, and they shall recieve, in sugar and delicious form. Do I get the answer of "Oh, Adam, dude... I don't care, make something up"? Yup, I get it every single time. It's a good thing I'm a left handed, right brained, creative Pisces man. Some people might get flustered at something like that :)

So my buddy loves two things when it comes to dessert. Pumpkin and coffee. Weird combo? Maybe... but it can be done. I went for a walk to clear my head, and it came to me, and a pumpkin headed spirit appeared in the street...

"You shall make Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies with Pecans" it said. Ok, not really, but that's the idea I came up with. Problem number two came though... I don't really like brownies. Gasp* Please don't stone me... I love other things! Cinnamon, vanilla, fruit, jam, nuts... just not really chocolate. Is it ok to not hide anymore?

So I had to enlist the help of a Portugese pastry chef. This is a no brainer for me. If you want to get your roof fixed, you call a roofer, not a dog groomer, right? Exactly. So after much collaboration and laughter, (probably more of the latter the way we talk) we agreed on a recipe that is similar to this one by Ina Garten, but I changed it a bit. A 13x18 size pan is an absolute monster, so I roughly quartered the recipe and made up a few other things. Much thanks to Clumbsy Cookie, for being an awesome, and Ina, for giving me a base recipe. 3 way high five, good buddies :)

Pecan Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Brownies
A concoction of Ina, Rita, and Adam

For the Pumpkin Cheesecake:

-8oz low fat cream cheese
-1/4 cup sugar

-1 egg yolk

-1 cup pumpkin, (approx.)
-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp ginger
-pinch of cloves, or two :)

For the Brownie Layer:
4 oz unsalted butter

-9 oz chopped up chocolate, separated into two 4 oz parts (I used bittersweet)

-1 egg and 1 egg white

-1 tbsp espresso powder (it helped keep us up at night)

-2 tsp vanilla
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/2 cup flour

-1/4 tsp salt

-1 tsp baking powder

-Chopped pecans (however much you want)

Preheat your oven to 350*.
Prepare a 9x9 pan lined with foil, and sprayed with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, first make the cream cheese filling. Mix the cream cheese and sugar together, much like using a "creaming method" with either a wooden spoon or hand mixer. Add the egg yolk, and canned pumpkin, a tablespoon at a time. The pumpkin has a lot of moisture, so you want the mix to be thicker, and not really liquidy. Just use your best judgment. It should be a loose batter. Add the spices to the batter, and mix until it all comes together evenly. Set aside.

In a small bowl, melt the butter and one half of your chopped chocolate together. I microwave for 30 seconds and slowly stir. Let this mixture cool once it's evenly melted and glossy.

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together: The sugar, flour, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt.

Once the chocolate mix has cooled slightly, carefully add the eggs (watch out for scrambled eggs), and mix well. Add the vanilla, and then add all of this into the dry flour mix bowl. Stir and mix well. Add in the rest of the chopped chocolate and pecans, and pour this batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula.

Take your cream cheese mix and drop tablespoon fulls on top of the batter. Try to leave spaces between the spots where you place it. With a knife or blade, drive through the batter to "marbleize" it, and make it look like a beautiful pumpkin brownie mosaic. Awesome job.
Bake for about 45 minutes. The cheesecake addition makes these brownies require a longer baking time than usual. Try not to over bake, check with the toothpick test, and cool on a wire rack.

Well, these brownies disappeared as fast as a teenage girl on a friday night. I don't know whether it was the party atmosphere, or the fact that I'm not a terrible baker (I did get help on this one), but they were devoured. Maybe it's the fall flavor, maybe it's the chocolate, maybe it was the uh, beverage consumption. Whatever the case, I suggest you try these out. If you have a favorite brownie recipe, give that a shot too :)

Comments (50)

Pumpkin cheesecake? Now that's one of the most creative cakes I've come across lately. Hi5 saved me far too many fact I'm getting worried about my memory not exercising as much as it should. Can I have some brownies for a morale boost? :)

You don't like brownies?!?! Well guess what.. neither do I! I never thought I'd find someone who thought cake was better than frosting and also not a huge fan of brownies. The truth is.. I can only eat low fat brownies because the overdecadence of normal brownies gives me a stomach ache. Then again, lower fat brownies (as in cut the butter in half) = chocolate cake (and who doesn't like chocolate cake?).

By the way, I have that book.. hahah.. I totally forgot about the Goosebumps, kinda reminds me of the pog collecting days. Makes me want to go back in time!

Those brownies look so good. Your modified version probably tastes better than the original one!

Oh man, that looks just delicious! What a great combination. And I also get the "I don't know, just make something up" answer every time I offer a dessert for a friend's birthday. I hate that. LOL

Have a safe trip and keep the great baking goodies coming!

Great teamwork! What a wonderful pumpkin creation!!! I love it! Will have to make this soon!

I'll try not to stone you for the brownies thing, but it'

I guess I'll have to come clean that I don't like pumpkin then. But still very creative use of it here. I've seen cheesecake brownies and pumpkin cheesecake, but never pumpkin cheesecake brownies. I think you are a first. Take credit before anyone else does.

I know how it is being the official dessert maker. I sometimes find myself making desserts for parties I'm not even going to!

I love that Goosebumps book, haha!

Oh my, those cheesecake bars look heavenly - your friend is quite lucky!! And now you know when MY birthday is, so.... ;0)

this is a strange but nice combo :) The brownies look delicious. Happy birthday to your friend.You always come up with great recipes :)

I'd like these for my birthday please. They look fantastic.

It' funny, I totally loved Encyclopedia Brown stories when I was a kid - I need to get them for my kids.

those look awesome! i love being able to add pumpkin to just about everything this time of year.

Pumpkin chocolate cheesecake!! I say this is creativity to the max!! I love it. Your friend must be lucky to have friend that may forget a birthday but knows how to bake a great cake!! yummy!! my birthday is on december LOL

You are so creative! I LOVE chocolate and pumpkin. Your pictures look great.

What an explosive combination.. a must for the holidays! My kids thank you.. I thank you! :)

Hey, I'm interested in learning a bit more about Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes - I have an ataxic cerebral palsy child with characteristics of Angelman Syndrome.. someone just mentioned to me this weekend the possibilities of chiropractic treatments for her! Is there some literature I can read?

Actually, I've had pumpkin in my coffee before. Dunkin Donuts has pumpkin lattes. Crazy, but I love them. And I am also the birthday dessert person. Most of the time, I get a request (devil's food cake, pb&j cake), so it's a little easier on me.

I can't believe you aren't a fan of chocolate, but I forgive you ;) Hopefully these brownies changed your mind a little. They look delicious!

awesome threesome buddies you have! And what a creation, they look heavenly:-)

Yes this is a weird combo. What a coincidence. I made Ina's brownies yesterday. Will blog about it soon. The boys loved them so much, but I did not had pumpkin... You did good.

Wow! You two should collaborate more. These sound great. I don't think I've ever put pumpkin and chocolate together.

Oh, those look fabulous! Nice job! Your friends are lucky to have you to make them such awesome birthday treats.

This look awesome Adam and the pictures wonderful!!! xGloria

Adam, sweetie, you did an excellent job. Now you can come to El Paso and make some for me. :) Pumpkin and coffee - genius. You certainly are a very talented fellow, kiddo.

ooh my, those look quite decadent!! i'm sure you could just make a chocolate pumpkin bundt cake to enjoy for yourself :)

Haha ok when I said blister for a month, really I meant the actual blister for a week or so then the skin remained pink for another week or two, so you could still tell I had the burn mark. As far as draining it, well I smacked my finger off of a metal cabinet door, so that took care of that LOL

I made it! I made it! Just like I promised. I am yet to dig in... couldn't make the mosaic effect, the cream cheese mixture was a lot and it filled the entire surface, but who cares. It looks good anyway.

Adam I just had a birthday a couple days ago. Can you send me some of these please? I know you're my buddy, right? :::wink wink:::
Seriously though dude, these look insanely delish. I love this and will be making this soon.

Hey i know that Portuguese pastry chef too! Isn't she talented? Man this looks good! Now if you really want my honest opinion and critic you should drive down to NY and give me a piece. C'mon, you can do it! My birthday is soon too.. in march! :-)

Gotta love that whole creative process - especially when you're a left handed right brained Pisces (which also makes you an incredible dreamer). The high5 triad came through and what a great recipe (are you at the patent office yet?) and lucky friend to have someone who put this much effort into making his day special. High 5 to you.

Gotta love that whole creative process - especially when you're a left handed right brained Pisces (which also makes you an incredible dreamer). The high5 triad came through and what a great recipe (are you at the patent office yet?) and lucky friend to have someone who put this much effort into making his day special. High 5 to you.

man, goosebumps brings back such great memories : )
You guys made quite the team!
oh, and facebook birthday reminders are one of the main reasons I still have facebook - lifesavers indeed.

Pumpkin and Pecan? Cheesecake and brownie? I wondered why my spidey baking sensors were tingling recently...

Love it, love it, love it :)

Delicious!! What a great combo. Decadence for sure.

What a great birthday treat! Your friend got spoiled for sure!

Hey cutie, thanks for stopping by. This is my time of the year. Ghosts, goblins, witches and vampires. Like I told Ben, I'm still afraid of La Llorona. Later gator.

Wow they came out so great!!! I think I totally deserve a piece, I'll email adress later :) It was a pleasure to help, but really it was your idea, I think Ina would be mad cause she would love to have had that idea first, lol! Awesome marbling job!
Was sitting on your butt fun today?

You weren't kidding about forgetting birthdays!

Nice twist on the classic cream cheese brownie!

Pumpkin cheesecake swirl sounds great! I wonder how these would be in pecan or butterscotch blondies instead.

Adam, awesome brownies! Never had these before. Im sure it taste great and I think I will try your recipe when I get chance...

Thanks for stopping by. :) Btw, im in facebook too and add you in my fren's list.. check it out. :)

my birthday is coming soon... am i qualified for the treat? lol... :) great post... take care :)

This looks positively sinful! As in, I might go to hell if I eat it. I kid, of course.

Honestly, this might be a must-try-er.

And I don't hate. I actually am not a big brownie fan either, at least not plain ones -I love ones like these that have so much added stuff that they are really only a brownie by default and name.

Hello and YUM. This looks like my dream come true - although I would prefer it in blondie form for my birthday, okay? ;)

Oh and yes, coffee is the elixir of life and goes great with anything!

You could NOT have consulted anyone better than Rita in this matter, seriously - WELL DONE. Her creations slay me each and every time. These look incredible - I mean, do they actually taste like pumpkin, or like brownies, or like a brown pumpkin, or like a pumpkin cheesecake? I'm so fascinated.

Okay now - moving ON to your anti-Brownie statement. Adam. ADAM! You DON'T like chocolate? I just had to defibrillate myself after that statement, thank you very much. I will let this slide, but I sure hope we don't have to hear SCANDALOUS statements such as these on a regular basis. Shocking, I tell you.

You're weird beyond recognition not to like chocolate OR brownies and, yes, you SHOULD hide that. BUT this recipe is FANTASTIC! Great job. I guess you won't be attending Emiline's Brownie U anytime soon.

PS I've never quartered a brownie recipe in my entire life.

Adam, did I tell you those brownies turned out awesome. Made it for some friends, and they loved it. Made some slight changes though, typical of me...

Ha Goosebumps. I was a Baby Sitters Club gal myself but they very sight takes me back :) You don't like chocolate?! *faints* Those brownies look highly intriguing :D

Coffee flavoured brownies with cheesecake and pumpkins! These sound so good!

Your buddies sure are fortunate to have devoured such a deelish bake.I love the concoction of all the delectable ingredients .I'm bookmarking it in a must try list:)

okay so before i even started reading the post, i was like hmmm this would be a great b-day gift so i decided i was going to tell you my b-day is coming up on 2 days before the election! and then i started reading and realized u really did do this for a b-day!! confirmation!!!

Looks so rich and decadent.. I'm gonna live off of protein shakes for a week after a few pieces of this.

oooh. Adam. I love these.
What a great idea -- and it couldn't be more timely!

Ooo, yes! No wonder you got so many comments :) This is amazing - way to go, Adam/CC/Ina! I'm not big on brownies either but this has got all kinds of yummies!

x Your left-brained, right-handed Piscean friend

Allow a fellow Pisces to get you one comment closer to 50!

This looks really good. But cut it down from a 13 x 18??? Dude, where's your brownie? If it's for a party you need some serious big dessert!

I love making desserts myself, but no matter how often I tell people, they seem to not want to 'bother' me - they'd rather make it 'easy' and get something at the store. I'll bet they'd change their minds if I showed up with a massive plate of these bad boys!

50! Ahahah!