Tuesday, September 01, 2009

TWD--Cheesecake Brownies

I made three kinds of brownies for TWD this week, which was chosen by Melissa of Life in a Peanut Shell.  Why did I make three?  I suppose I like to torture myself. jk

I made the recipe as written by Dorie (Baking From My Home to Yours, pages 104-105).  I was skeptical as I'd read the P&Q's earlier in the week and many talked about the brownie being kind of dry.  (I left out the espresso in all of them.  No coffee at our house.)  I baked this in a 9 inch square pan at 325 degrees, but just because my pan is dark in color, so I like to turn the oven down 25 degrees.  I thought the cheesecake to brownie ratio was a bit high for these, in fact, I thought I estimated saving 1/4 of the brownie batter for the top pretty nicely, but it was hardly enough to go around.  This batch of brownies is a little dry, you can even tell in the photos.  I also left the sour cream topping off all the brownies. 

DSCF4120

DSCF4131

Cheesecake with brownie is not my favorite combination.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I made the recipe.  But I decided to be a little more creative and made the recipe again, using an 8 inch square pan, but only making 1/2 the recipe for the cheesecake and making it peanut butter cheesecake.  I used about 1/4 cup peanut butter and forgot the sour cream (accidentally).  I liked the brownie to cheesecake ratio better, but the brownies were still kind of a dry/not very fudgy kind of brownie.  I also layered some mini Nutter Butter cookies on top of the cheesecake before swirling in the rest of the brownie batter.

DSCF4121

DSCF4122 

Looks pretty yummy.  For these, I only put about half the brownie batter on the bottom, so there would be more to swirl in the top. 

After baking, cooling and chilling the brownies, I cut some fun (but still a bit dry) slices of brownie.  Look at the one on the top right--it looks like a fish! 

DSCF4127

The peanut butter flavor was pretty good, but I just wish the brownie had been better.

Oh, I could have called it good for TWD this week, but NO--I wanted some rather gooey, fudgy cheesecake brownies, so I turned to my newest favorite brownie and whipped up some of the Dorie--Tribute to Katharine Hepburn brownies.  Didn't realize I was almost out of cocoa, so these have 1/4 cup regular cocoa and 1/4 cup Hershey's Dark cocoa--hence the DARK color.  I made up another batch of the cheesecake for the brownies and swirled that in.  But still thought it was too much cheesecake mixture, so I left out just a bit of it.  I did half the brownie batter on the bottom again and saved half for the top, instead of 3/4 to 1/4.

DSCF4132

Going in to the oven.

Ready to serve.

DSCF4152

These were definitely much more fudgy.  We all agreed this was more like cheesecake with brownie in it, instead of brownie with cheesecake.  It's good and quite rich.  Yes, that's a lot of brownie.  I've already given a bunch of it away.  Whew.  Thanks to Melissa for a fun pick to try this week.  You can get this recipe on her blog, linked above.

Oh, and remember that I saved a little of the cheesecake mixture.  For kicks, I threw some mini Oreos in it and put it in six mini paper lined muffin tins.  These may be the best thing I baked today.  A great little bite of  Oreo chocolaty goodness in a cheesecake.  Yum!

DSCF4157  

Go check out what some of the other Tuesday's With Dorie bakers did with these brownies this week.

33 comments:

Pamela said...

Sheesh! You've gotta slow down! It's brownie mayhem over there! In particular, I think the KH brownies look completely decadent with the cheesecake. Absolutely stunning! The oreo cheesecake minis look great, too. All of your friends must love when you call or come for a visit! :o) Great job, Katrina.

basicallybaked said...

I'm glad you have lots of places to send the extra baked goods! Your dedication to making it work is impressive! I love it that your little mini cheesecakes with Oreos were the favorite of the day!! Your own thing out of other good things!

vibi said...

Golly! They all look sooooo amazing, I wouldn't know which one to pick, really... a little bite of each I guess!

those boys must have been in heaven, I tell ya!

Lisa Ernst said...

Wow -- quite the undertaking! I agree that the first two batches of looked dry (the brownie part). I like my brownies super fudgy and rich, so your final batch looked wonderful -- and so pretty, like a professional baker would do for a high end store!

spike. said...

Wow, you get an A plus for this week- three kinds of cheesecake brownies!

Fallon said...

How long were you in the kitchen? LOL!

I must say the 3rd ones look great! I also had the problem of running out of cocoa powder. :X Whats up with that? LOL. I went to Sam's Club and bought the big Hershey's cocoa. Now that should last!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Oh my gosh, three kinds of brownies? You really got on a roll with this one. They all look fabulous.

Eliana said...

Hmmmm - I'll have one of all three please...Thank You!

Megan said...

So the next time I need to try a recipe for The Brownie Project, I know who to call.

I've come across quite a few people who just aren't crazy about these, and I'm glad to know it wasn't just me.

Julie P said...

Oh dear. Wishing I could sink my teeth into some of those. OH YUM.

Karen said...

What fun variations on the recipe. :) Love the fish!

Cathy said...

Wow - you were a busy cheesecake brownie maker this week! Well, I sure am glad you did all that legwork, because now I know that next time I want to try this with the KH brownies and peanut butter cheesecake. Yup, that combo sounds about perfect to me!

bakingwiththeboys said...

That is an ambitious week. I usually call it quits after one go round. The KH brownies do look gooood.

noble pig said...

I feel like I'm in swirl heaven over here....my goodness it all looks so yummy!

pinkstripes said...

Wow! Three versions. I love the nutter butter version.

Valerie said...

How creative to throw Nutter Butters in there. Sorry you didn't love all of them. They look great in the pics.

doughmesstic said...

Oh My Lord. Torture! So many brownies, so little time! (You are NUTS!) :)
They all look YUM.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Torturing yourself is not really your thing, but torturing us, for sure!!! Even if they were a tad dry they all look amazing! My favourites are the pb ones and the little oreo cups, very cute!

Bunny said...

WOW you certainly out did yourself with this post! I love the idea of the pb cookies in the pb brownie!!

Kayte said...

I knew you would have some fabulous variations over here. I showed them to Matt and he said, "Let's make one of each of those!" LOL. Yeah, sure. Can I just send him there instead? As always, you amaze!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Good gracious - three batches of brownies? I'm excited that you did the leg work for me! Good to know that the KH brownie recipe produces a superior cheesecake/brownie (especially with reduced amts of cheesecake). Your swirling is pretty spectacular, btw.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

You certainly had a busy week! As soon as I saw the recipe, and read the blog posts of others, my first thought was the same! This idea is too good to lose, gotta try and make it work somehow!!

I love those mini oreo cheesecakes!!

Teanna said...

YOU ARE AMAZING!!!! I think you should invite us all over to your house every week to taste all of the variations of the desserts that you make. And when I say we, I mean me, and when I say taste, I mean eat everything in sight.

Kim said...

I'm in awe of all your variations. The peanut butter with the nutterbutters would get my vote. They all look wonderful. Glad you were able to give some away. That's a lot of brownies.

Melissa said...

Oh my goodness, you're killing me here! They all look delicious!

Leslie said...

First of all: Do you ever sleep?

Second: I just left a comment at Cathy's blog after reading her say the brownie was dry, I was going to make mine with the Tribute to Katharine Hepburn brownies. And then I come visit you and that's what you did on batch 7 (or was it 8?) I'm so glad they turned out well. There's nothing that disappoints me more than a dry brownie. Not furlough days (actually, I'm liking them, just not the pay cut), not missing the last open parking space in the closest lot at work, not rain when I'm having a barbecue. So I do understand the search to make the recipe be whet you knew it could be.

Judy said...

I like PB brownies and have a very old Kraft recipe (before everyone wanted the dark chocolate dense brownies)that is a fave of ours. I've tweaked it of course to make it low fat, and it never fails me. The brownies are somewhat cake-like but never dry.

isa said...

They are beautiful and I love your swirls! I Knew you would have 1 or 2 variations over here, but 3! Wow!
I like my brownies fudgy so next time I will try this with the KH brownies. Thanks for sharing.

Liz said...

Wow, someone is going for her brownie baking merit badge! I love your creativity with the nutter butters and the oreos. I think the third batch looks and sounds deeeelicious.

Emily said...

Haha. Pamela's comment made me laugh.
I love how much baking you do!
My favorite is your dark chocolate brownie cheesecake bar. I prefer more brownie over cheesecake. I've never liked cheesecake much.

Sara said...

Wow! They all look so great. I'll take some of each please. :)

Carla said...

Mine weren't dry at all. Interesting. I used actual espresso instead of powder + water. Love the swirling. Just hope you didn't brownie yourself out! ;)

Gloria said...

Do you think swirling a flavored cream cheese would work too? I also asked this question on cookiemadness...How would you incorporate strawberry cream cheese-what would you beat into it before swirling it?