Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake PB Cup Brownies

wp-1475350683740.jpgFall is here! The season of outdoor activities, colorful leaves, apple picking, scarves, leggings, and, of course, pumpkin!!

The pumpkin craze is real. Just the other day, Trader Joe’s hosted their annual pumpkin palooza– two hours where you can sample ANY and ALL pumpkin items in the store. The cashier told me there are over 200 SKUs of pumpkin items!!

Anyway, it’s real, people love their pumpkin. You probably love pumpkin if you’re reading this. I love pumpkin. YUM. And let me tell you, these brownies…omg.

They came out just how I imagined they would. A decadent, intense dark chocolate brownie with a lighter pumpkin cheesecake swirl laced and topped with peanut butter cups. Are you questioning the peanut butter cups? Don’t worry, pumpkin and peanut butter is actually a fantastic combination. Add in chocolate and cream cheese, and, well, you must try.

Let’s get baking shall we?? Here we go.

Ingredients:
Brownies
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup chocolate chunks

Pumpkin cheesecake
1 8oz brick cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon

16oz milk chocolate peanut butter cups, chopped (Trader Joe’s are the best!!)

Directions:
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2) Let’s make the brownies. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Then add in the 4 eggs and vanilla, whisking until fully combined.
4) Switch to a rubber spatula and mix in the sifted cocoa powder. Then add in the flour mixture, folding it in until just combined. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chunks.
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5) Spread the brownie batter into the prepared pan.
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6) Sprinkle half of the peanut butter cups on top. Now, the pumpkin cheesecake layer. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together until combined and fluffy. Add in the pumpkin, vanilla, eggs, flour, and cinnamon. Beat it all together until smooth and fully combined.
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7) Spread the pumpkin mixture on top of the brownie layer.
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8) Smoooooth it out.
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9) Sprinkle with the remaining peanut butter cups.
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10) Use a knife to swirl together all the layers, drawing the knife almost all the way to the bottom of the pan and dragging all around. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chunks.
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11) Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until the top looks less wet and you see some slight cracks around the edges on the top of the brownies. Your kitchen is going to smell SO GOOD!!
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12) Cool the brownies in the pan on a wire cooling rack. Then cover and refrigerate them for at least 2 hours.
13) When you’re ready to serve them (or, you know, just ready to eat one) take them out of the fridge and cut as desired!!
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Looook at those layers and peanut butter cups. The gooeyness is undeniable. Take a bite. Omnomnom
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HAPPY FALL!! What are your favorite pumpkin products?!

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