Cheesecake Brownies

The biggest Pearls + Girls disappointment occured last month when I shipped 2 dozen Pecan Cinnamon Rolls to my friend for a weekend gathering.  Shipped them on Wednesday to arrive Saturday, simple right?  WRONG!!!!  The rolls needed to travel a measly 110 miles from my kitchen to their intended taste buds, but instead they decided to do a bit of sightseeing throught the midwest, touring over 2,000+ miles in 11 days!  Well, instead of getting mad, crying, and throwing things at the iPad screen as the USPS tracking app taunted me with its inaccuracies (oh, wait, I did that, nevermind), I decided to use it for inspiration! 🙂  Well, actually, my friend, who guarded the stale rolls with her life so her boyfriend wouldn’t eat them and she could photograph them for the insurance claim, suggested I blog about it!!!

Where will these rolls take me today

So that brings me to my second Pearls + Girls blog series, Where Will These Rolls Take Me Today?  The title is inspired by a children’s cartoon my kids love, Franny’s Feet, about a girl who travels different places every time she changes her shoes!  Wouldn’t that be great?!?!  Wanna hear the theme song?  It’s usually running through my head when I can’t seem to fall asleep……”One step at a time, who could suppose what together we’ll find?  With every pair of shoes that we try, we’ll have a new adventure, you and I.  Where will my feet take me today….”  and on and on, but it buys me 24 minutes of unadulterated freedom while they are glued to the tv screen watching, so I’ll deal…

There will be 4 recipes in the series, one for each viapoint of the roll’s journey from my kitchen in central Ohio to Des Moines, Iowa, Memphis, Tennessee, Warnersville, Pennsylvania and finally to the suburbs of Akron, Ohio.  First stop:  Des Moines, Iowa.

 I don’t know much about Iowa, but I do know it is the setting of one of my favorite movies, The Bridges of Madison County.  I happen to be a HUGE Meryl Streep fan, so I researched a bit and discovered her favorite dessert is:  BROWNIES!  Yum, I love brownies, as does everyone in my family, as does just about every person I ever met!!!  These Cheescake Brownies are a bit fancier than your everyday chocolate brownie, which makes them the perfect celebratory dessert.  Inspired by a recipe in the cookbook, Ready for Dessert, I started with my favorite Ghirardelli brownie mix, added a cheesecake layer and swirled them together.  On New Year’s Eve we enjoyed a decadent dessert that was easy to make and easy to please!  Enjoy! 🙂
Cheesecake Brownies ~ Pearls + Girls
Cheesecake Brownies
Brownie Mix, such as Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 TBSP sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line an 8X8 or 9X9 baking pan with foil and spray with non-stick cookie spray.  In a mixing bowl combine brownie mix, one egg, oil and water with a spatula or wooden spoon.  Pour into prepared pan, smoothly top of batter.
Using a hand mixer with double beaters or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream cheese, one egg, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Dollop the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter, then swirl the mixture into the batter using a butter knife.  Bake at 325 for 40 – 45 minutes, or until cream cheese mixture is set.  Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan using the edges of the foil to transfer in to a cutting board.  Cut into wedges and serve.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator.




  1. […] By now the rolls are sufficently stale, but slowly working their way back towards Northeast Ohio via Northwest Pennsylvania.  I had never heard of Warnersville, Pennsylvania, but after googling it, I found out it’s a suburb of Pittsburgh.  If you are wondering what the heck I’m talking about, you haven’t been following this blog series, and need to catch up on your reading. […]