Yesterday was the end of year teacher appreciation luncheon at Andrew's school. I volunteered to make a vegetable casserole and a dessert. The casserole was an easy choice, as I received lovely squash in my CSA delivery. But, the dessert, that was a little more difficult. So many choices! Cake, cheesecake, pie, brownies.
Then it hit me - years back I remember making a cheesecake brownie pie that was out of sight good. I decided to make 2, since there were quite a few teachers, and I knew this pie would go fast. Chocolate and cheesecake? Win-win!
I took a shortcut or two, using frozen pie crusts and microwavable hot fudge. If you're really short of time, use a brownie mix, too. Also, if you're not a coffee fan, just leave the espresso powder out of the batter, but, let me tell you, that cheesecake layer is beyond delicious, and I have plans to make a java cheesecake. Keep an eye out!
Java Cheesecake Brownie Pie
1 frozen pie crust
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, divided
6 squares semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons instant espresso powder, divided
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons hot fudge, heated according to container directions
3 tablespoons toasted and chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Remove pie crust from freezer before preparing brownie and cheesecake batters.
- Prepare cheesecake layer:
- In a mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 3 teaspoons espresso powder.
- Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes; set aside.
- Prepare brownie layer:
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chopped semi-sweet chocolate and butter.
- Microwave for 2 minutes, remove from microwave and stir until chocolate and butter are smooth.
- Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt.
- Beat in the eggs; stir in the flour and remaining 2 teaspoons of espresso powder until no streaks of flour remain.
- Assemble pie:
- Spoon half of the brownie batter into the pie crust, smoothing with a spoon.
- Add the cheesecake batter and smooth with the back of a spoon.
- Carefully dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cheesecake batter and smooth with back of spoon.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs attached.
- Allow to cool, then spread hot fudge sauce over top of pie and sprinkle on pecans.
- Chill in refrigerator for 4 hours before slicing.
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