Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cheesecake Brownie Cupcakes

I’ve been making cheesecake for many years, and have loved experimenting with different types of crust (graham crackers, small round wafers for cheesecake cupcakes, crushed chocolate crème sandwich cookies, etc.) and fillings- baked, no-bake, with pumpkin, with chocolate, and on and on! 
I’ve found that large group event attendees prefer cupcake sized desserts instead of large slices of cheesecake, so I decided to combine two recipes from my trusty Philadelphia Cream Cheese cookbook of 1989. The brownie cheesecake recipe was an old friend, with notes scribbled in my handwriting about adjusting the ingredients to make a 9x13 pan instead of a round springform. Ditto the cupcake version…for a dozen, be sure to double the recipe, and so forth. 
Here’s what I used; you go ahead and adjust for your needs:
One 10.25 oz package of brownie mix, prepared according to the package directions will yield 17 cupcakes if you put 1/8 cup batter into each paper liner. That results in a decent layer of brownie as the crust. Feel free to use the entire batter for 12 thicker brownie cheesecakes, but you’ll have less space for cheesecake batter.
While the brownie layer is baking at 350 for 12 minutes (!), prepare my adaptation of the recipe: beat together two 8 oz. packages of reduced fat cream cheese, between 1/3 to ½ cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, one egg, and ¼ cup egg substitute.
Pour ¼ cup cheesecake batter over the brownie layer, then microwave 1 cup of any type of chocolate pieces for one minute.  Stir the partially melted chocolate and microwave again for about 30 seconds as needed, for melted and smooth chocolate.
Stir ½ teaspoon of melted chocolate into the unbaked cheesecake batter, then bake them for 30 minutes. I used white chocolate chunks, but would recommend for visual appeal and flavor that you use chocolate chips or chocolate/ peanut butter/ butterscotch chips.

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