Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Turtle Cheesecake Brownies

I have been contemplating the best use for some shredded coconut I have in the refrigerator.  I finally decided I wanted to make cheesecake brownies.  I searched around for a crust, but after not finding one that appealed to me I just went in the kitchen and played.  I decided to use my large lasagna pan for this - I am going up to the Coyote Grill to share, so we need a nice size pan of brownies, plus I anticipate it expanding in the oven.  Since My lasagna pan is ceramic I decided to give the cooking a head start on the lower rack at a higher temp so it would cook more evenly.

Now I decided to use Ghirardelli boxed brownie mix for this because I made decadent homemade brownies with melted chocolate etc... last week and didn't feel like making quite as big a mess this week.  Dealing with developing crust and the cheesecake filling was enough creativity for me today.

Turtle Cheesecake Brownies

1 sleeve Graham Crackers
1 Cup Shredded Sweetened Coconut
1 Cup Walnuts
1/4 C Butter - semi-melted
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Cheesecake Filling
2 Packages Cream Cheese softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
1 Tbsp Sour Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Packages Ghirardelli  Chocolate Caramel Turtle Brownie Mix
1/2 Cup Water
2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (you will be turning it down after 15 minutes of baking).

Process the crust ingredients in the food processor to a fine crumb.  Press into you pan and place in refrigerator to set up a little (about 20 minutes).

Mix your Cheesecake Filling ingredients until well blended, light and fluffy (used my Kitchenaide with the paddle attachment).  Put the bowl in the refrigerator while you work on the brownie mix.

Remove the crust from the refrigerator.

For the brownie mix, whisk the water, vegetable oil and eggs in a large bowl until well blended.  Pour the brownie mix into the bowl and fold in together with a spatula until just blended.

Carefully spread the brownie mixture over the crust.

Put the cheesecake mixture into a piping bag with small tip (I used my doughnut filler tip).  Pipe the cheesecake filling into the brownie mix close together at regular intervals.  Now for the Caramel part of the turtle brownies.  Cut the corner of your Caramel Pouches that came with your brownies.  Make eight lines of caramel across the short side of your pan.  Take a sharp knife and run it through the caramel the opposite direction of the caramel to create a pattern (I alternated directions about six times).

Place on the bottom rack of your preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Rotate the pan and move it to the center rack and turn the heat down to 350.  Set the timer for 30 minutes.  Now you will need to check the brownies for doneness.