Friday, August 5, 2011

Thin Mint Brownie Cheesecake Bars

I made these "Thin Mint" Brownie Cheesecake bars for something, but it was so long ago, that I can't quite remember what it was. Probably as a Father's Day dessert. I put the Thin Mints in quotations, because I used Keebler brand Grasshoppers.  They taste the same to me, and unlike Girl Scout cookies, they aren't insanely expensive.
I wanted to make a 9x13 pan of brownies, but I didn't have enough ingredients with the recipe I had intended. (Read the directions before you go to the store. Don't be like me.) So I improvised and combined the recipe for Brownie Cheesecake bars from The Dinner Ring with the Thin mint cheesecake swirl from Sweet pea's kitchen.

Here is what I did:
1 Family size brownie mix (for a 9x13 pan) and the ingredients needed on the box (or your favorite brownie recipe if you are ambitious enough to do that sort of thing from scratch)
1 1/3 c coarsely chopped thin mint or grasshopper cookies
8 oz softened cream cheese
2 T butter
1T cornstarch
1 (14oz) can condensed milk
1 egg
1 3/4 t vanilla
1/4 t peppermint extract

Preheat your oven to 350.  Prepare brownie mix per the box, and add chopped thin mints.  Put half of the brownie mix in 9x13 pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Spread the batter out carfully with a spatula so the batter is covering the whole pan.  Mix cream cheese,  butter and cornstarch til fluffy, gradually add the condensed milk.  Then add egg,  vanilla, and peppermint extract.  Blend until combined.  Pour over brownie, base smoothing to cover the top of the brownie batter.  Scoop dollops of the remaining brownie batter over the cheesecake batter. Swirl the two batters together with a knife.  Top with additional crumbled cookies if desired Bake for 25-40 minutes until cheesecake is set.  I baked mine for 30 minutes and it was a bit on the soft side when it cooled.  It was still tasty, but messier to eat, so keep that in mind when you are figuring out how long you need to bake the bars.  Store cooled bars in the fridge.  Cut the bars with a plastic knife for a nice clean cut and try not to eat the pan in one sitting.

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