Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr, Jan Gautro
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cheesecake batter, place cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar and peppermint extract; beat well. Add 1 egg and 1 egg white; beat well. Add 1 tablespoon flour; beat mixture just until blended.
To prepare brownie batter, weigh or lightly spoon 5 ounces (about 1 cup) flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 5 ounces flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, 2 egg whites, and 1 egg in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended. Add flour mixture to brown sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended.
Reserve 1/2 cup of brownie batter. Pour remaining batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Carefully pour cheesecake batter over top; spread evenly to edges. Dot cheesecake batter with reserved brownie batter. Swirl top two layers of batters together using the tip of a knife. Bake at 350° for 26 minutes or until top is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
You can tint the cheesecake batter with two or three drops of red food coloring to give it a pink tinge, if you like. When swirling the cheesecake and brownie batters in step 4, don't disturb the bottom brownie layer. Cool these bars completely before serving.
Everything about these tasted delicious. The only issue I had is that it didn't cook. I cooked it for 20 minutes longer than the recipe listed and the center (brownie and cheesecake layer) was still so underdone that when I cut them they turned into a tasty, soupy mess. I couldn't even serve the edges. The top looked overdone and the edges pulled away from the pan as if they were overdone. The peppermint was just right. I am so disappointed.
I did not care for these. Unlike other reviewers, I thought there was enough peppermint flavoring. The cheesecake part was fairly tasty. The brownie part lacked a lot of flavor and was really cake-like. Ultimately, the combination was not good. Brownies, IMHO, should be chewy and fudgy, so if you like a cake like brownie that is more airy and not very rich, this would be a good recipe. I also baked for about 35 minutes and they were done. No way would this have been set in 26 mins.
Read reviews after i put the batch in the oven..so i couldn't increase the peppermint..but i did bake them an extra two minutes as some suggested they needed more time. I think they are great! They set up very nicely and the flavor and visual contrast between the chocolate brownie and the cheesecake is terrific. A scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside one should be great.
Let me preface this by saying that I LOVE peppermint, and I am a huge fan of Cooking Light. This is the lowest rating I have ever given a CL recipe, as they are generally amazing.
The peppermint flavor was beyond overwhelming, and the brownies and cheesecake layer did not cook in the same amount of time. I ended up throwing the entire batch out.
These were dreadful. I like mint, but these were a minty, soggy mess. I baked until the cheesecake was set, but the interior of the brownie was raw. I don't know if my mint extract was especially powerful, but these were way TOO minty. We actually tossed them in the garbage after attempting to eat them.
Tastes OK, not spectacular. I followed the time exactly, and the cheesecake appeared to be set, but after cooling and cutting, found the center of the chocolate part to be undone, raw dough. Will probably not make again.
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Join our newsletter for free recipes, healthy living inspiration, and special offers.