’tis the season for pumpkin everything!
Apparently the fact that I think that means I’m “basic.” I’m not sure who coined that term, but, I don’t really understand it. I mean, I know people get really excited for pumpkin season. But who doesn’t like pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies??
Well, basic or not, pumpkin is delicious.
And because it’s so delicious, some of my friends and I have an annual Pumpkin Day every year. It’s just a day we select, usually in October where we get together and everyone makes something that has pumpkin in it. It’s basically a pumpkin potluck (with lots of wine too).
This year, I made a pumpkin butter baked brie (pictures and recipe coming soon) and these pumpkin cream cheese brownies.
I added a pretzel crust for some texture, crunch, and added deliciousness. The salt in the pretzels helps amplify all of the other flavors too.
So now we have pretzel crust, dark chocolate brownie, cream cheese pumpkin layer, another brownie layer, and finally…a caramel drizzle! Because…why not???
Yum, yum. yum yum yum.
2 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup pumpkin
8 oz (1 brick) cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
About 1/4 cup caramel sauce– I used Trader Joe’s brand
1) Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil. Set aside.
2) To make the crust, finely crush the pretzels. Measure 2.5 cups after you crush them. Mix them with the melted butter and the brown sugar. Press it firmly into the bottom of the foiled lined pan. Bake it in the oven for about 8 minutes.
3) Make the pumpkin cheesecake layer: Beat the cream cheese, pumpkin, and granulated sugar together with a mixer. Add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, and flour. Beat everything until fully combined. Set aside.
4) Make the brownie layer: I a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, melt the butter. Add in sugar and vanilla and mix well. Sift in the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Add the eggs and beat until well combined. Fold in the flour mixture.
5) To assemble: First spray the sides of the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Then, pour about 3/4 of the brownie batter into prepared pan. Then pour on the pumpkin cheesecake mixture. Then add on the last of the brownie batter. Swirl the layers together. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until everything appears set and the edges are just starting to pull away from the sides.
6) Heat the caramel in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Drizzle on top of the warm brownies. Cool completely in the pan (or enjoy warm).
See that swirl?! They look purrtyy.
And see the layers…
These are also perfect for Halloween– orange and black! Right?!