Irish Cream Cheesecake Brownies

I know I said my next post would be about Men and Texting, but that will have to be my next, next post.  It will be worth the wait, I promise.  I decided to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming because… today is March 1st!  That means St. Patrick’s Day is near.  I take great pride in being Irish (I even walked down the aisle to a Celtic version of “Canon in D”), so today will mark the beginning of our month-long Irish extravaganza! 

This Irish pride stems from my Grandfather, Francis McNulty.  I remember that he loved all things Irish, especially Irish music and Notre Dame; and therefore, I do too.

Fittingly, one of my fondest memories of my Grandfather involves food; steak, specifically.  Every year while I was growing up, my parents, my brother, and I, along with my aunts, uncles and cousins, would travel to my grandparents’ house for the 4th of July.  Grandma always made these huge, elaborate meals while we were there visiting that usually included a Waldorf Salad, scalloped potatoes, bread and butter, a fruit and Jell-O Salad, and crinkle cut french fries (for us kids).  For the highlight of the meal, Grandpa grilled steaks on the front patio with his gas grill.  The smoky smell of the grill floated inside, and the family waited anxiously for Grandpa to carry the sizzling steaks inside on a large platter.  I think he took a lot of pride in these steaks, and loved being able to provide them for his family.  After dinner, at dusk, we grabbed all the snacks and sodas we could carry, and rushed outside to the screen-house that Grandpa built to watch the beautiful fireworks being set off right in front of us. 

So, to kick of our Irish extravaganza, I bring you my first Irish creation: Irish Cream Cheesecake Brownies.  I hope you enjoy them.  Oh, and they're Gluten Free and low in sugar!

Cooking spray
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (reserve 1 cup to mix in at the end)
3/4 cup Truvia  (or 1 1/2 cups regular sugar)
1/3 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup Gluten Free multipurpose flour

Cheesecake topping:
8 ounces fat free cream cheese
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Truvia (or 1/3 cup sugar)
1 large egg
1/4 cup Irish Creme liquor

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. 

Make the brownies:
In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and 1 cup of the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat, and add the Truvia, yogurt, baking powder, salt, eggs, and multipurpose flour.  Stir until just combined.  Stir in the remaining cup of chocolate chips and set aside.

Make the cheesecake:
In a large bowl, add the cream cheese.  Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the egg, Truvia, and Irish Creme and beat on low-speed until combined.

Pour the brownie batter into the baking dish, then pour the cheesecake batter evenly on top.  I swirled the two layers together with a chop stick (but you could use a knife too!).

Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.