4 LAYER PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

I swear, I think of the best topics to write about while I’m sleeping. Whenever I have trouble sleeping I write posts in my head, and they’re always good ones. My best and most funny writing happens at 2am. The problem? By the time I wake up in the morning I can’t remember the funny. Or the words.

I know I should put a notepad by the bed, but then I’d have to fully wake myself up. I actually think I’m more funny and witty when I am half asleep, which says a lot about me. 😉

Take that Apple Cider Pound Cake post, for example. Totally wrote that one at 3am last week. It took me until noon the next day to even remember I’d dreamed my post. I think I pulled some of the funny out for that one, but it was a struggle, that’s for sure.

What’s killing me? I totally had the whole post for these Four Layer Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars totally written in my mind last night. And now I can’t remember the funny story I was going to tell you!

Good think I can drown my stress in more chocolate and peanut butter today.

PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

yield: 20-24 SQUARES

total time:1 HOUR 45 MINUTES PLUS COOLING

These Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies are a showstopper dessert! They’re dense, fudgy, peanut buttery, full of cheesecake, and they’re GORGEOUS! Great for giving and parties or just because you want peanut butter, cheesecake, and brownies!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 package (about 11 ounces) bittersweet/dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 5 large eggs, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain greek yogurt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9” square pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Make the brownie batter: place butter and 1 3/4 cups of the chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute on high power, stir. Continue heating in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Stir in 3 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, then add 3/4 cup flour, cocoa powder, and salt and mix until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Make the cheesecake batter: beat cream cheese with a hand or a stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add peanut butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and sour cream or greek yogurt. Mix until smooth, then add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon flour, and remaining 2 eggs. Beat until smooth without lumps.
  4. Spread half the brownie batter in the prepared pan. It’s a thick batter but should spread easily with a wooden spoon or spatula. Place half the cheesecake mixture over the top and spread carefully. If you have an offset spatula, that makes spreading this layer easier. Top with remaining brownie batter and then the remaining cheesecake to create 4 layers. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the edges start to get golden and the center is set. Cool completely at room temperature. Chill to set, at least 2 hours or overnight. Cut into small bars and serve. This cheesecake is very rich and a little goes a long way! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. (http://www.crazyforcrust.com)

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