Fresh Orange Cheesecake Brownies

orange browniesedited

I’m just going to dive right in, so to speak, with my first post back since vacation. We were primarily in the great state of Florida, so thinking about what I wanted to post on our long drive home, something orangey seemed appropriate. Something easy was also necessary as I’m feeling a little out of practice in the kitchen.

For these brownies, I simply modified the recipe for Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies {which are thanks to the blog Baking Bites and are incredibly delicious.} Chocolate and orange are a classic combo and my idea for combining these flavors actually came from the Cake Mix Doctor. I’ve made her recipe for fresh orange cream cheese frosting a number of times… it’s one of those dangerous frostings I could eat straight out of the bowl without pausing for air. I wasn’t really in the mood to frost cupcakes for my first post so these brownies were what I decided on instead. And gosh they are GOOD! I prefer them chilled out of the fridge just like a cheesecake. 

A bit about our vacation… first, traveling with our now 8 and 6 year olds was a revelation. In addition to being fun they are now useful and able to help pack and unpack along the way. This by far was our best family vacation yet, so parents with little ones, it does get easier!

Second, we loved every moment at Disney, but a highlight for certain was our experience at Sea World’s Discovery Cove. These are my personal opinions for which I am not being compensated. Check out their website for more information here.  Price of admission to Discovery Cove includes use of wet suits, snorkels and towels and also pays for tasty breakfast and lunch buffets, snacks and drinks throughout the entire day… including beer and several mixed drinks, although being around water with the kids, that didn’t seem like a good idea for Tom and I this time. The price also grants admission {for 14 days} to both Sea World and their waterpark Aquatica. In addition to the incredible dolphin experience at Discovery Cove, we snorkled in an enormous reef lagoon with sting rays {barbs removed} and tons of tropical fish and floated in lazy rivers past beautiful waterfalls. It was an experience we will never forget!

dolphin collage

 

Fresh Orange Cheesecake Brownies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  2. 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  3. 1 c. sugar
  4. 2 lg. eggs
  5. 1 t. vanilla
  6. 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
  7. 1/4 t. salt
  8. 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  9. 1/3 c. sugar
  10. 1 lg. egg
  11. 2 T. fresh orange juice
  12. 1 T. orange zest
  13. 1/2 t. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray. In a small heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla. Pour in the slightly cooled butter and chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add flour and salt and stir until everything is just combined with no streaks of flour remaining.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg, orange juice and zest and vanilla with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  4. Pour half the brownie batter into prepared pan and spread over bottom of pan evenly. Drop 9 scoops of the cheesecake batter (3 across, 3 down) on top of the brownie batter. Pour the rest of the brownie batter evenly over the top. Take a butter knife and gently drag through in lines, both across and down to swirl both batters together.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes until cheesecake brownies are just set. Cool in the pan on the counter for about 30 minutes and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.
Foodtastic Mom http://www.foodtasticmom.com/

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