Cheesecake Brownies

About a month ago, I realized just how appreciative I am for my blog. Oh sure, it’s “my space” and “my creative outlet” – but there’s a bigger, more important reason why.

Simply put, and I know I’ve said this before, it’s preservation of my/our favorite recipes.

I’m referring not only to safeguarding family recipes that could otherwise be lost without saving them here. I’m also referring to the fact the TWO cases of my baking books / cookbooks mysteriously disappeared during the move, along with recipes from those books that I haven’t had a chance to post yet.

And I’m still bitter about it.

Since I have an incredible kitchen to work in, I’ve found myself saying, wow, this is a great time to work on my bagel making skills again, or maybe whip up that delicious cheese danish that I haven’t made in forever. But I can’t, because I DON’T HAVE THE BOOK and therefore don’t have the recipe.


Enough whining, I know. But I’ll tell you this – my birthday wish list is going to include lots of books from my Amazon page.

Cheesecake Brownies – adapted from Nick Malgieri

About these brownies: Everything from Nick Malgieri is perfect. Follow the directions precisely and don’t overbake them. Use a knife dipped in hot water between slices and you’ll be rewarded with picture perfect squares.

Brownie layer:

  • 8 tbs unsalted butter
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake layer:

  • 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs

To prepare oven, baking pan: Set rack in middle level of oven. Preheat to 350 degrees. Butter 9-by-13-inch pan. Line with buttered parchment or aluminum foil. Set aside.

To make brownie batter: Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. (Note: If all chocolate has not melted, return pan to very low heat and stir constantly to melt chocolate.) In large bowl, whisk together eggs, salt and vanilla until just mixed. Whisk in sugar in stream. Whisk in chocolate and butter mixture. Using rubber spatula, fold in flour. Set aside.

To make cheesecake batter: In bowl of standing electric mixture fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed for about 1 minute or until smooth. Add vanilla. Scrape bowl. Beat well. Beat in 1 egg. Scrape again. Add remaining egg. Beat until just incorporated.

To assemble brownies: Scrape brownie batter into prepared pan. Smooth top. Drop tablespoons of cheesecake batter over brownie batter to cover completely.

To bake brownies: Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely on rack.

To cut: Wrap pan. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight) so cake solidifies completely. (Note: This also makes brownies easier to cut.) Transfer brownies to cutting board. Using long knife or spatula, slide it under to loosen paper or foil, then pull it away. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares.

Malt Fudge Brownie Crusted Cheesecake

I received a little present in the mail today. Unfortunately, it wasn’t chocolate, a new baking book, or anything even remotely exciting. It was, in fact, the invoice from my little sojourn to the ER a few weeks ago.

Ummmm, can you say, ouch? Like the stitches weren’t painful enough?

Thanks to the ACA (……don’t even get me started….), my health insurance premium has doubled and my benefits have been cut in half. Which means, in plain English, until my deductible is met (sometime in the year 2018…), this bill is alllllll mine. To pay in full. Every penny of it. All this because I was careless while making Alexander’s lunch.

To say I’m irritated would be putting it mildly. More like incensed, indignant and irate. And completely ticked off.

Thank goodness happy hour is on the horizon.


And there are brownies on the table.

Malt Fudge Brownie Crusted Cheesecake – adapted from Bake or Break

This brownie is my new favorite recipe. I really love the flavor from the malt powder – it isn’t overwhelming but gives a nice tang. I recently made another batch of them with chopped up Twix bars – and for someone that isn’t too fond of caramel,  I certainly haven’t had any problems eating them.  I make them in a 9″ square pan because I like them thicker – but if you prefer something thinner, by all means use a 9 x 13 pan.

Malt Brownie:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup malted milk powder (I use chocolate Ovaltine)
1 cup unsalted butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, cut up
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour and malted milk powder; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine butter and chocolate; heat and stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove from heat; stir in sugar. Using a wooden spoon, beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, and spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 35 minutes or until tester comes out with crumbs attached. Do not overbake. Cool brownies in the pan on a wire rack, then chill for an hour in the refrigerator.


No Bake Cheesecake Filling:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (or Greek Yogurt)

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until blended and smooth. Mix in vanilla and sour cream. Drop filling gently over the brownie crust and spread it evenly using an offset spatula. Chill for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Oreo Cheesecake Cookie Dough Bars

Yesterday, I spend a considerable amount of time reviewing all 683 posts on this site, and discovered that I made a similar version of these bars back in February of 2013.

The only difference between the two recipes is the crust – this one uses Oreos, the other calls for graham crackers. Both versions are equally delicious, and as evidenced by the fact that I made them twice, they are definitely worth making again.

Which I most certainly will.


Oreo Cheesecake Cookie Dough Bars – adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

For the Oreo crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
5 tbs. unsalted butter, melted

For the cookie dough:
5 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose  flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips

For the cheesecake filling:
10 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper allowing a little overhang. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the Oreo crumbs and melted butter together until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6-7 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Leave the oven on.

While the crust is cooling, prepare the cookie dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. Slowly mix in the flour and mix until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust.

Use your hands to form clumps of cookie dough. Flatten the clumps of dough in the palm of your hands to flatten them out. Distribute the cookie dough evenly on top of the cheesecake batter. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the cookie dough top feels dry and firm and the pan is set. You can give it a little shake to see if it is set. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Lift the cooled bars out by the overhang; cut into squares and store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Rice Krispie Treats

After dropping the posse off at school this morning, I paid another visit to the friendly doctors at our local ER. Today’s visit, however, was much more pleasant, for they removed the stitches from my hand. And then gave me the scissors and tweezers they used as a memento.

Like the inch-long scar isn’t enough? 


No matter though, I’m just happy that those prickly stitches are out and I can wear my ring again. It’s funny how I don’t feel completely dressed without it on. I mean, I haven’t worn anything on that finger in 5 years. And wasn’t sure I ever would again. Alas, fate intervened and my heart and soul found their other half.

It’s a wonderful love story, actually, comparable to the 51 years-and-still-going-strong story of my parents love and life. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for setting such an incredible example of unbreakable love and devotion ♥

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the kitchen to bake something, since I have full use of my left hand again….

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Rice Krispie Treats – adapted from Cookies and Cups

These bars are fun and different – a step up from a regular rice krispie treat and not difficult to make at all. Just make sure to keep the bars tightly covered, as the cookie dough dries out very quickly.

Krispie Treat Layer
  • 5 tbs. butter
  • 8 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups rice krispies cereal
Cookie Dough Layer
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Krispie Layer

Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Once melted add in marshmallows, stirring continuously until they are melted. Immediately remove from heat and stir in cereal.

Once the cereal is completely combined with the melted marshmallow, spread into pan and press evenly. Set aside while making the cookie dough.

Cookie Dough

Beat butter and both sugars until combined. Add in milk and vanilla, and mix until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary.

Turn mixer to low and add in the flour until incorporated, then stir in the chocolate chips.

Spread the cookie dough evenly over the krispie layer. Cut into squares to serve. Keep the bars covered tightly with plastic wrap to avoid them becoming dried out.

Cinnamon Rice Krispie S’More’s

I would be hard-pressed to tell you the last time I made Rice Krispies Treats.

Several years, at least. Maybe more than several. Perhaps closer to a decade. I’m not sure.

The problem is twofold: first, they’re made with marshmallows, which aren’t my favorite to begin with. And second, with the posse being a bit “older’ now, they don’t seem too keen on them anytime they make an appearance.


Until now.  

I highly recommend that you try these. Because for someone that isn’t too big on marshmallow (i.e. me), these were fun and tasty.

And, I predict that given my current track record, I’ll probably make them again in the year 2024.

Cinnamon Rice Krispie S’More’s – adapted from Food52

  • 4 tbs. butter (half a stick)
  • cups mini marshmallows, almost one full 10-ounce bag 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • cups puffed rice cereal
  • 10 regular-sized marshmallows
  • cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, and then add the mini marshmallows and cinnamon, stirring with a heat-proof spatula until the entire mixture is melted. Remove pot from heat and add cereal, folding in until the whole mess is coated and gooey and sticky.

Dump contents of pot into a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Flatten into one layer with your spatula, and then stick the dish into the freezer for at least 15 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from freezer and cut into 20 rectangles. Top half of the squares with a generous amount of chocolate chips.

Using a skewer, roast the big marshmallows over your stove burner until toasted and golden brown. Or, do what I did and spray a sheet of foil with nonstick spray, place the large marshmallows on the foil, and stick the sheet under the broiler for a moment till they’re done. Slide the toasted marshmallows carefully onto the squares with the chocolate. Smash the marshmallows with another squares, pressing together to form a sandwich. Repeat with remaining mallows and treats.


Stout Brown Butter Brownies

Happy October 1! Today marks the beginning of the last quarter of the year. And more importantly, the beginning of boot season.

I didn’t notice don’t give a flying fork don’t care that it’s still 89 degrees outside…...

Actually, what it really means is that the countdown to the holiday season is upon us. Let’s see, by my mathematical calculations (questionable as they may be..), Christmas is exactly 84 days away.

I know, I know, we still have to get through Columbus Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving…… but those are minor details… Christmas is my favorite pull-out-all-the-stops holiday that means two things:

Family and FOOD!!


Better crank up the workouts starting now…

Stout Brown Butter Brownies – adapted from Joy The Baker

I’ve never made brownies with browned butter before, and I can honestly tell you that they are phenomenal. These are everything you want in a brownie, with lots of flavor from the butter and stout beer. But just so you know, you don’t bite into one and say, oh, there’s beer in this. They just taste rich and chocolatety and delicious.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup stout or other dark beer (I used Guinness Stout)
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, and spray with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder.

In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter until it just turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Pour the chocolate into the brown butter and stir until combined. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the stout.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugars until thick, about 2 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all of the ingredients are well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the edges are firm and the center is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan before slicing.

Slice into 12 large or 24 small brownies.

Skillet S’More’s

It’s the last day of June!

Which means……holy smokes…………. 82 days until MY birthday.

*** big grin ***

Yes, I’m going to start counting down, because this birthday is going to be really special. I mean, last year, I was in Italy on my birthday – which, by far, was the best birthday EVER!

Thank you Mom and Dad🙂

But this year, I’m in a new state, with my posse and my beloved J……. all that’s missing are my parents, but hopefully I can persuade them to come out, because I think know we will all have an epic time.


I’m already planning my cake….. and you can bet your last dollar that it will contain mass quantities of chocolate🙂

Skillet S’More’s – adapted from cookies and cups

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows (Or cut large marshmallows in half, which is what I did)
  • 8-9 Giant Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°
In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and sugar together for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla and mix until evenly combined, scraping sides as needed. Add in baking soda, continue mixing until incorporated. Whisk together the baking soda, graham cricket crumbs and flour, then stir into the butter mixture.

Spread half of the dough into skillet, then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the dough. Top with mini marshmallows. Cover marshmallows completely with remaining dough. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

While cookie is baking cut your giant marshmallows into thirds. Remove cookie from oven and top with marshmallows. Return to oven for 10 more minutes. If the marshmallows aren’t browned enough, turn oven onto broil and toast for 15-20 seconds until golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.