Caramel Cheesecake Brownies

So sit back and let me tell you the story of the time that Sarah created her own dessert. At work, someone had the fantastic idea to have a Dessert Challenge. Think Chili Cook-off, minus chili plus dessert-y deliciousness. There were 2 categories I could enter: fruit and/or chocolate. I'm not one for fruit-based desserts, so I went with chocolate. (Plus, its me....why wouldn't I do chocolate?!)

So I'm wracking my brain- do I do a cookie? a cake? a brownie? a cheesecake? oh- a cheesecake brownie...maybe. Oh, but a caramel brownie could be good too.... Wait a minute! What about a Caramel Cheesecake Brownie?? Now going into this, I knew it was either going to be awesome or awesomely horrible. You'll have to wait til the end to see how it turns out ;-)

How Long Is This Gonna Take:
About an hour to an hour and a half....perhaps a little less (mine took a long time to cook)

What You'll Need:
For the brownie layer:
1 boxed brownie mix, 9x13 size (no....I didn't make it from scratch)
egg, oil, etc called on browie box

For the caramel layer:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 stick butter

1 jar caramel ice cream topping for when your caramel doesn't come out right like what happened to me.....

For the cheesecake layer:
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg

I ended up doubling what was needed for the cheesecake layer because it looked like it wasn't going to be enough, but in the end that was a mistake- took FOREVER to bake. Make a single batch as above and if you end up needed more, maybe try a 1/2 batch

What To Do:
1. Preheat oven and mix brownies as directed on package. Set batter aside

2. Make the cheesecake topping by mixing cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla, and egg until nice and smooth. Set aside

3. Make the caramel by heating 1/2 cup sugar in a small pot until deep brown. Into the hot caramel, add butter and mix well, but be careful of splattering. Set aside. Mine turned into like a crunchy caramel brittle, but I was lucky because I had caramel topping on hand. Turned the brownies a little gooey, but it was ok

Thank You Hershey's!

4. Into a 9x13 pan, pour the brownie mix and level out smoothly. Then pour the still-hot caramel onto the brownie mix, spreading it as evenly as possible. Top with the cheesecake and spread evenly, making sure to get the corners. To make a design, drag a skewer or toothpick through all the layers, moving it up and down to slightly mix the layers. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting or serving.

This is it....the moment of was

AWESOME. And I won ;)

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