Caramel Brownie Cheesecake
Caramel. Brownies. Cheesecake.
Need I say more?
I must say that a lot of the recipes I make are because I have an excess of [insert random ingredient here] on hand. This time, it was cream cheese. It was on sale for $0.88 a block, so I bought four. I figured I would be able to make a few things with it before the “best by:” date approached. This dessert happens to be one of those things. It also used a few other things I had on hand, like evaporated milk and caramels. Handy!
Those are caramels in that measuring cup. They sell these “caramel bits” that are pretty handy; there’s no unwrapping, and since they are smaller they melt faster. I first found them on clearance after Christmas one year. They also make an excellent addition to chocolate chip cookies, for a little something different.
First, you make the brownie crust. The batter is really stiff. I mean, really stiff.
Spread it in a well-greased 9″x9″ pan. I suspect you could make this in a 9″ springform pan, but it would be slightly thicker and the baking times would vary.
While the crust is baking, you can melt the caramels with the evaporated milk.
Reserve about 1/3 cup for the topping, and pour the remaining on top of the baked brownie crust.
Then, mix together the cheesecake layer. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together first.
Make sure that you get the cream cheese out of the refrigerator LONG before you start making this dessert. You want it to be room temperature, and no cooler.
They’ll look fairly smooth. Then beat in the eggs.
Now we’re talking! Smooth that over the caramel layer. Dot it in several places over the caramel. If you pour it all in the center, the caramel will gush from underneath the cheesecake layer and there won’t be any caramel in the middle of the dessert. See how it puddled a little around the batter I poured in the center? You don’t want to do that.
Bake it again. And it will look like this:
Let it cool on a wire rack for awhile, then pop it in the refrigerator. After it’s all cooled, now it’s time to decorate!
Warm up the reserved caramel. I reserved it in a glass measuring cup with a pour spout so that I could reheat it in the microwave, then pour it on. Worked like a charm!
Drizzle with the remaining caramel first.
Then, melt the chocolate and drizzle the opposite direction. Refrigerate it again until you’re ready to serve.
This would be an excellent dessert to bring to your next gathering! It’s definitely made to share.
Caramel Brownie Cheesecake
Adapted from Philadelphia Cream Cheese Classic Recipes Cookbook
1 box of brownie mix, 8″x8″ pan size
1 tablespoon cold water
1 14 ounce bag of caramels, unwrapped
1 5 ounce can evaporated milk
2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Mix together brownie mix, 1 egg, and water until well mixed. Spread into a greased 9″x9″ square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (will be underdone). Melt caramels and evaporated milk in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until smooth. Reserve 1/3 cup caramel for topping. Pour remaining caramel over brownie crust. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until well blended. Add remaining 2 eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour over caramel into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack for about 30 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator. Chill for at least one hour. Heat reserved caramel and drizzle over cheesecake. Melt chocolate chips, and drizzle over caramel. Refrigerate until ready to serve.