Thursday, November 26, 2009

IGA Items of the Week

Just one more thing to be thankful for if you live in our beautiful town: The IGA is open all Thanksgiving morning. So if you are still short a pumpkin/and/or/chocolate dessert for your Thanksgiving table you can run over there and pick up these two items to make the following:

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Makes 16 brownies

For the brownie batter:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

4 ounces (4 squares) unsweetened chocolate

2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the cream cheese layer:

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust the oven rack to the bottom third of the oven. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure that the foil is tucked into all the corners and that there is at least 1 inch overhanging the top of the pan on all sides.
  2. Make the brownies: Put 1 inch of water in the bottom of a double boiler or medium saucepan and bring to a bare simmer. Combine the butter and chocolate in the top of the double boiler or in a stainless-steel bowl and set it on top of the simmering water, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat, whisking occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl.
  4. Whisk together the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl. With a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Spread in an even layer into the prepared pan.
  5. Make the cheesecake: Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed beat the mixture until very smooth. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and beat again until smooth. Stir in the salt, cinnamon, ginger, and flour.
  6. Scrape the cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter and smooth with a spatula to create an even layer.
  7. Bake the brownies in the bottom third of the oven until they are set around the edges but still a little wobbly in the center, 50 to 55 minutes. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Refrigerate them until they are completely chilled, at least 6 hours. Grasping the overhanging foil on either side of the pan, lift out the brownies and place them on a cutting board. Cut them into 16 squares. Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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