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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thin Mint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

 Where the time goes.  How long I have been trying to put this post together.  How many freaking things have kept me from doing so. 

Pardon the mini therapy session here.  I am seriously baffled.  I have the same number of kids as a few months ago.  Same hours in a day.  Basically the same amount of stuff to do from week to week.  Maybe slightly lower energy levels (allergies are kicking my butt.)  But for some reason I have not been on top of this blog like before.  I know it doesn't matter that much to you, but it is ticking me off.  On to brownies, therapy is over.

Girl Scout cookie season!!!  Sing it with me - GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SEASON!  I know that probably if you've got a box of Thin Mints around, you are going to eat them.  Or maybe freeze half for a treat in the summer.  But if you happen to have extra Thin Mints - we only do because we both ordered cookies from different scouts without knowing it, and ended up with quite the stack of boxes! but even so, I ordered an extra box just for this recipe - you might consider making these luscious treats. 

I made them a few weeks ago while visiting my sister in Vermont.  They actually have only certain nights designated as dessert nights, so luckily I was there for one.  And here's me playing with the focus on my new camera.
 This is one happy Thin-Mint-Cheesecake-Swirl-Brownie eater.

Oh my gosh.

Thin Mint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies (print recipe)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped Thin Mint Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in sugar and bring to a boil, whisking frequently; boil 1 minute. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until combined, about 1 minute.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt; whisk until combined.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs until combined. Whisk in melted butter-sugar mixture until well combined. Stir in flour mixture until just combined,followed by Thin Mint Cookies.
  6. Spread half of brownie batter into the prepared baking dish, followed by cream cheese layer. Distribute the remaining brownie mixture in 8 dollops over the cheesecake layer and spread evenly. Swirl in with a knife or spatula.
  7. Bake for 24-28 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
  8. Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack before lifting out the parchment paper to remove the brownies.
Yields: 16 large brownies or 24 small brownies

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