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This past weekend was my 10 year reunion at West Virginia Wesleyan College. It’s been about 7 years since I’ve been back to the campus and I was heading down with my best friends from college. We were having a girl’s only weekend so I knew it would be fun but I also knew it was going to be different then when we were in school.
It ended up being a blast and seeing so many people I haven’t seen in years was really great. The buildings on campus looked a little more run down but the chapel at the center of the school is still gorgeous. Even though I’m only in my early 30’s I felt really old being down on campus again and I’m sad to say that while I aged the freshman certainly didn’t.
For the weekend trip I knew my girls and I were going to need some serious fuel to keep us awake past 10 o’clock. I was planning on something chocolate but I wanted to make it something that had meaning. Since it is the fall and our school colors are orange and black I went with pumpkin cheesecake brownies.
These were like crack in a brownie! The rich, chocolate brownie layer tasted like fudge and on top of it sat a dense pumpkin cheesecake. Every bite was sweet, spiced, and filled with pumpkin goodness. I could have eaten the entire pan myself and once my friends had a bite they felt the same way.
Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Brownies (adapted from Beantown Baker)
For the brownies:
3/4 c. butter, melted
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
For the cheesecake:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used Philadelphia 1/3 less fat)
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. flour
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 t. vanilla
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time until totally incorporated.
3. In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder.
4. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Set the rest aside.
5. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed. Add in the egg and beat well. Mix in the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
6. Spoon the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie batter. Put small spoonfuls of the remaining brownie batter on top. Using a knife, swirl the two batters together.
7. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center is set. Cool on a wire rack and chill before serving.