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Sugar Free Cheesecake Brownies . . . & Raccoons

Well this post was intended for a few days ago – but then around here things never seem to go as planned. Just too much to do and not enough time.

 

And then on top of that, there was the raccoon. I’ve not had many encounters with ‘wild’ animals since we’ve lived here – but my experience the other night would have to take the cake  . . . without a doubt.

 

Normally Bear sleeps inside, but with the temperature in the 40’s he didn’t want to come in, so we let him sleep out.  All was quiet until around 3:30 in the morning.   David woke me saying Bear had been barking for a while.  This usually happens when there is an animal (armadillo) outside the fence digging.  Off I go – flashlight in hand to chase the animal off.

 

What I find is Bear in the corner of the yard jumping at the fence. So I try to get him to stop jumping/barking – no luck.  I get closer and bend over to give him a little push and calm him –  but when I stand up – OMG!!!!!  – there  eye-to-eye, staring me in the face  was a raccoon perched on top of the fence . . . reared up, snarling  and hissing.

 

Didn’t know I could move so fast backwards.   Everything from then on is a bit of a blur.  I vaguely remember screaming which of course scared both David and Bear – not the raccoon  . . . then somehow managed to get Bear onto the back porch and then herded him inside the house.   Needless to say I was wide awake by now and ended up watching TV for a while until I thought I could go back to sleep. What an ordeal !  I am so thankful that the raccoon hadn’t jumped on Bear – and then didn’t jump on me.  Could have had a really bad outcome.

 

Now for something sweet. Made the sugar  free  cheesecake brownies last week.  They turned out good – I don’t think anything sugar free is ever quite what I hope for – but they were good – and David enjoyed them.

This is the recipe for those that might want to give them a try.

Sugar Free – Cheesecake Brownies

INGREDIENTS

Brownies

  • 1 box Pillsbury SF Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup water (See Tips below)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup oil (no canola, please !!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 heaping TBSP cocoa

Cheesecake Swirl

  • 4 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 cup Splenda®
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk

 

Directions: 

For cheesecake swirl:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and set aside

 For brownies:

  1. Combine egg, oil, water and vanilla in a medium size mixing bowl
  2. Add cake mix and cocoa and blend until moistened.
  3. Pour batter in a greased, 8″ x 8″ baking dish and level
  4. Spoon the cheesecake mix on top of the brownie batter and swirl into batter using a knife
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes
  6. Remove from oven, cool – frost if desired and enjoy

Tips:

  1. If the brownie batter seems too thick, add 1 TBSP of water at a time to thin so as to make swirling the cheesecake batter easier.
  2. To get cheesecake swirl to swirl better, try using a skewer for a thinner, neater swirl. (You’ll see in the image, using a knife was somewhat clumsy.  I’ll use a skewer next time or simply make a cheesecake ‘layer’ with the frosting on top of that !)
  3. Frost with the “Cake in the Pan”   Frosting for more chocolate deliciousness !!!!
  4. The cheesecake swirl will also work if making regular brownies, just replace the Splenda® with sugar.

 

 

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