We are already midway through September and I'm hoping that Fall weather will magically happen. I have already enjoyed my first PSL on ice (that's Starbucks code for Pumpkin Spice Latte) because in SoCal our temps are still resembling summer beach days. Eric is in football happy mode for the next 3 months, and my kiddos have their Packers jerseys and Chargers gear, too. More importantly, I have already bought E&E's Halloween costumes and scouring my recipes for everything pumpkin. It's definitely my happiest time/season of the year!
September is also Childhood Cancer Awareness month and OXO is getting ready for their annual program benefiting Cookies for Kids' Cancer. For every stickered item sold, they will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000 pledge to Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Be on the lookout for specially marked OXO products at participating retailers. For my blog post about brownies, OXO will donate $100. I'm very honored to be working with OXO for such a wonderful cause.
Jessica of My Baking Heart and I decided to team up and have a virtual brownie party! Even though we live 1600 miles away from each other and we possibly couldn't get together anytime soon. We wanted to celebrate together in a food blogger way of sorts - virtual brownie party. She's an absolute sweetheart friend of mine and we had so much fun working together when we last collaborated on Jessica's virtual baby shower - that we wanted to team up again for OXO and Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Check out Jessica's Pumpkin Spice Brookies that I'm drooling over because they are sweet, spicy and scream out Fall flavors from the Pumpkin Spice M&Ms that she added into them. (I have already bought my bag in anticipation of her recipe!)
Earlier this year I was on a binge-brownie baking bonanza. I was desperately looking for "the best brownie" recipe because my pregnancy with Emilio gave me a serious hankering for sweet fudgy chocolate brownies. I like to think it was my brownie experiment phase of my pregnancy but alas I was never truly satisfied with any brownie recipe that I tried. Maybe it was because my top favorite dessert is cheesecake tied with brownie. I took this as an opportunity to finally combine them into one sinful dessert. I used mascarpone instead of cream cheese for an Italian twist and I added heath candies because it's one of my favorite candies. The Heath pieces are milk chocolate morsels studded with toffee and almond bits in a candy coated shell. The mascarpone in the brownies makes for a creamier and richer cheesecake all resulting in the fantastic Fall studded brownie.
The perfect indulgence for any day of the year.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
ZipList Add Recipe
- Brownie Batter:
- 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Cheesecake Batter:
- 8 ounces mascarpone, well softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Topping: 1/2 cup Heath pieces or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Prepare brownie batter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and make sure oven rack is in the middle. Line a 9x9 with parchment paper or aluminum foil and butter it.
- In a 3-quart saucepan, warm the butter and chocolate over medium-low heat. Whisking occasionally, just until the chocolate and butter have melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread into prepared pan.
- Prepare cheesecake batter. Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Scoop dollops over brownie batter, then using a knife or toothpick swirl together brownie with cheesecake batter.
- Sprinkle Heath pieces or chocolate chips, or you could have folded them in the brownie batter, too.
- Bake brownies for 32 to 35 minutes, just until the edges are slightly puffed and the center is not jiggly.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Disclaimer: OXO provided me with a set of brownie tools and will donate $100 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer for each blog post dedicated to this campaign in September, but as always all opinions and text are my own.