December 28, 2017
Our family has attended many Christmas get togethers so far this year, with two more to go actually. In addition to making time for family over the holidays, we also make time for our friends as well. Tonight we had a Christmas dinner followed by a game night with our ‘life group’ or church family. We are so thankful for these people we ‘do life with.’ They are definitely God given friendships that have formed from meeting regularly, discussing God and the weekly sermons, the things going on in our day to day lives. It’s a great feeling to have the support of a group of friends who genuinely care and offer helping hands when needed, and are always there to pray for or with you. And of course we’ve all gotten really good at laughing and having fun together; tonight was an opportunity to do just that and enjoy a great meal together.
Our meal tonight was one that tops all others. One of the families in our life group makes a ‘Turducken;’ this was our second time enjoying this combination of a turkey, duck, and chicken. I can’t imagine the time and effort that goes into the days of preparation for this triple bird meal. Our friend has seemed to perfect this delicious meal, as we were able to eat the tender meat with nothing more than plastic forks; so moist and delicious! We appreciated the meal as well as the time with our friends. I think the thing that makes our life group work is that it’s a priority to all of us; we make time to meet and look forward to all getting together.
My contribution to the meal was- you guessed it- a dessert. I initially made a grasshopper cheesecake yesterday, then late last night I remembered our friend and the chef of the turducken, doesn’t like the chocolate mint combination. So this morning I began to look for a different recipe to make, and one that I had all the ingredients for as I was longing to finally have one day where I didn’t have to go anywhere; it’s also less than 5* out today! Anyway I chose to make a brownie bottom cheesecake with a cookie dough topping. Thankfully it seemed to turn out pretty well; I say this because I have had my fair share of flops in the past month. Oy.
Anyway, the recipe was adapted from the chunky chef’s. I love brownies, and cheesecake, but could do without the cookie dough. My honest review was that it was too sickening sweet for my liking, but otherwise it turned out just fine and others seemed to enjoy it (thankfully).
Brownie Bottom Cookie Dough Cheesecake
1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
3 (8oz) pkg of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
1 Tbsp flour
Cookie Dough Layer:
1 stick margarine (softened/almost melted)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup MILK chocolate chips
1 tsp vegetable oil
Prepare a 9″ spring form pan by covering bottom with parchment paper and then spraying with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350*.
To make the brownie layer, in a saucepan melt the butter and chocolate until smooth, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to help speed up the process.
In a bowl combine chocolate mixture, milk, and eggs. Then add in flour until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-28 minutes. (Once brownie is removed from oven, reduce oven temp. to 325*.)
Begin the cheesecake layer with cream cheese and eggs that have been allowed to come to room temperature. Combine cream cheese and sugar and vanilla until smooth. Then add sour cream or greek yogurt (I would normally recommend using plain greek yogurt, but all I had this time was vanilla greek yogurt which worked fine!). Add each egg, one at a time. Remember to scrape down the sides of your bowl with a spatula. Lastly, gently mix in the 1 Tbsp of flour. Pour in pan over brownie crust, Bake for 50 minutes; or until the middle is still ‘jiggly’ but the rest/outer edge is set. (Take a knife and run around rim of cheesecake to help prevent cracking as it cools and pulls away from edge of pan.)
Cool gradually in oven for 30 min or so, less time if appears to begin cracking. Then cool on counter further before placing in refrigerator. I cooled for several (4?) hours before adding the cookie dough and chocolate topping.
To prepare cookie dough, simply combine all ingredients in the order listed. Then spread over top of chilled cheesecake. Melt the milk choc. Chips and vegetable oil in microwave safe bowl and drizzle over the top of the cookie dough layer. I placed melted chocolate in piping bag so that I had more control over where the chocolate went; but this would not be necessary.