When it comes to holiday baking, I’m fairly ambitious – secretly, I want to make as many cookies, bars, and candies as I can this month. However, if your time is more limited or you’re throwing a party and want to serve a dessert your guests are sure to love, make these delectable peppermint cheesecake brownies. The black and white combination of a fudgy brownie base topped by a creamy peppermint cheesecake layer is a definite crowd-pleaser. Craving more chocolate and mint? Try these chocolate-mint swirl bars or chocolate peppermint bar cookies!
Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies
Adapted from Cooking Light
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
3/4 cup flour
8 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
Preheat oven to 325°F and line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with 1 sheet of foil or parchment, allowing 2 inches to hang over each end.
Place butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute at medium power until butter is melted. Stir the mixture until combined – the texture will appear granular at this point. Stir in vanilla and add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each one. When the batter is thick and shiny, add the flour and stir until completely incorporated, then beat briskly for 40 more strokes. Reserve 1/2 cup brownie batter; spread remaining batter evenly in lined pan.
For the cheesecake layer, place cream cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in sugar and peppermint; add eggs and beat until combined. Add flour and beat just until thickened. Carefully pour cheesecake batter over brownie batter; spread evenly to edges. Dollop reserved brownie batter over cheesecake layer and swirl top two layers together with a knife or wooden skewer.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until top is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly moist with batter. Let cool completely on a rack, then cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, lift up the ends of the foil or parchment and transfer the brownies to a cutting board, then cut into squares using a sharp knife. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Yield – 24 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 175
Carbs – 23